• Germany edition
 
FDP membership in 'vicious downward spiral'
Photo: DPA

FDP membership in 'vicious downward spiral'

Published: 29 Dec 2012 13:28 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Dec 2012 13:28 GMT+01:00

The pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), the junior party in Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition, lost some 5,400 members in 2011, and another 3,000 in the first six months of this year, putting the official membership at 60,181.

But the FDP leadership under Vice Chancellor Philipp Rösler has refused to release figures for the second half of the year until after a meeting of coalition leaders in January. Nevertheless, the fall is likely to have continued, the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported on Saturday.

"We have no indications that there were significant membership increases," admitted party spokesman Wulf Oehme. Regional party branches have all reported membership declines in the past few months.

A similar fall in the second of this year is likely to put FDP party membership well below that of the Green party, which gained 650 members this year, putting the official total at 59,727 as of mid-December.

"The FDP is in a vicious downward circle," said Berlin-based political scientist Oskar Niedermayer. "No-one wants to belong to the losers." He put much of the blame on the Rösler's enduring lack of popularity.

Germany's two major parties - the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) - have been bleeding members for several years, partly because of Germany's ageing demographic.

Focus magazine reported on Saturday that the SPD had overtaken the CDU as the biggest German party by membership, with 483,000 members, losing "only" around 6,000 members in the past year. The CDU lost over 9,000 members, and dropped to 480,000.

The socialist party The Left's membership is also declining, sinking to below 70,000 for the first time earlier this year.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

04:12 December 30, 2012 by vonSchwerin
There are fewer Greens than PDSler? That's messed up. I can't believe that the SEDPDSLINKE's membership has not plummeted, with the exception of East Berlin and a western German university towns. Well, eventually all the Ostalgists will start dying off.
12:34 December 30, 2012 by Englishted
Not surprised by the F.D.P. complete idiots.

But the figures in general reflect the feeling of hopelessness and despair the electorate have when whoever you vote for, changes their policies to grab a slice of the mishmash that is coalition power.

I would bet the numbers of people voting is dropping as well,because what is the point ?.
18:37 December 30, 2012 by mitanni
That probably has something to do with the fact that "Die Liberalen" are "liberal" in name only. Let's hope they disappear for good so that a new liberal party can arise in Germany.
22:29 December 30, 2012 by lordkorner
Now if we could only find out where they are going.
Today's headlines
Woman sues for accidental pot raid
Photo: DPA

Woman sues for accidental pot raid

A Bavarian woman is suing police for unlawful search after a reported break-in at her home led authorities to discover 158 cannabis plants in her basement. READ  

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word
Merkel suffers from Wortfindungsstörung at the IT summit in Hamburg. Photo: DPA

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word

Angela Merkel's government is often criticized for its lack of understanding of all things digital and an appearance by the Chancellor in Hamburg which was supposed to change those perceptions has only made things worse. READ  

Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants
Photo: DPA

Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants

Germany gave out fewer residency permits last year per head to non-EU citizens than any other major European economy. READ  

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine
Hamburg's UKE has helped lead the fight against Ebola. Photo: DPA

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine

Volunteers have rolled up their sleeves for the first phase of the human trial for an Ebola vaccine at the Hamburg-Eppendorf University Clinic (UKE), it was announced on Wednesday evening. READ  

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend
Jacob Lew and Sigmar Gabriel. Photo: DPA

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, in a meeting on Wednesday with German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, called on Germany to boost public spending to stimulate stuttering eurozone growth, the Treasury said. READ  

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window
Schönhauser Allee in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window

A father and his young son are in serious condition after police and firefighters were called to their home in northeast Berlin early on Wednesday morning. READ  

North braces for storms and floods
Cars waiting to be loaded onto the ferry at Bremerhaven, Lower Saxony, were caught in flooding on Wendnesday. Photo: DPA

North braces for storms and floods

UPDATE: The remnants of hurricane Gonzalo have drifted across the Atlantic and are now threatening North German cities with flooding, forecasters warned on Wednesday. The news followed a night of accidents caused by heavy winds in southern Germany. READ  

Kerry's challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall
US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Berlin Wall. Photo: DPA

Kerry's challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited remnants of the Berlin Wall on Wednesday and warned that East-West tensions again threaten freedom in Europe, 25 years after its collapse. READ  

Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Sonneborn in the EU Parliament. Photo: DPA

Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train

Martin Sonneborn can’t believe his luck. The German comedian, leader of the political party “Die Partei”, managed to get elected to the European Parliament in May, and has found himself overwhelmed with fresh material. READ  

The Local List
Which high school cliche is your city?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock

Which high school cliche is your city?

This week's Local List takes a leap of imagination and finds German cities fit perfectly into high school cliche categories. Who's the class clown? Who's the nerd? READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,510
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd