• Germany's news in English

CDU sinks behind Greens in Bremen state election

The Local · 22 May 2011, 20:05

Published: 22 May 2011 20:05 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

This was a further drubbing for Chancellor Angela Merkel following four other regional elections this year which have all seen her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) shed support.

The Social Democrats (SPD), who have ruled the city-state of Bremen for 66 years, came out on top, and will be returned to power with their Green allies in the smallest of Germany's 16 states, exit polls show.

"For the first time in the history of the German Federal Republic, we are ahead of the CDU in a regional election," said one of the Green federal leaders Claudia Roth.

"The result is a difficult one for us," the CDU's parliamentary faction leader Peter Altmaier acknowledged on television.

"Unfortunately it reflects what opinion polls have said for weeks," he added.

"Bremen has traditionally always been a difficult for the CDU," he conceded.

“We find ourselves in a difficult environment," he added pointing to the support gained by the Green ecologists in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in March in Japan.

"Just think of Fukushima, of the economic situation with the banking crisis and the crisis that has hit some states such as Greece," he added.

"This all heavily impacts a ruling party," he added.

Merkel has found herself severely criticized at home for her handling of the international financial crisis, including measures to bail out debt-ridden Greece.

The SPD took some 38 percent of the vote, while their Green allies won between 22 and 23 percent, according to various exit polls.

The CDU came third with 20 to 21.5 percent of the vote, while its allies in the federal government, the Free Democrats, won just three percent of the vote, less than the minimum five percent needed to send representatives to the local assembly.

Final results might not be known for several days because of a complicated ballot counting system.

In the last election conducted in 2007, the SDP had come out on top winning 36.7 percent of the vote, while the CDU had taken 25.6 percent.

The Greens had come third with 16.5 percent, while the far-left Linke party had won 8.4 percent of the vote. The FDP had chalked up six percent.

This election was marked by the voting of 16- and 17-year-olds, for the first time in a regional election.

Electors have to be aged at least 18 to vote in other regional or federal elections.

In seven states, 16-year-olds are allowed to vote in municipal elections. Despite this measure, voter turnout dropped from just over 57 to 54 percent.

The ruling CDU-FDP federal government has already lost control of the Bundesrat upper house of parliament, made up of representatives from the regional states, but regional elections this year have seen its support plummet.

In March, the CDU even lost Baden-Württemberg, where it had governed for nearly six decades.

Story continues below…

The FDP, for its part, has gone from bad to worse, failing to win seats in two of the four state elections held to date and faring scarcely better in a third.

The Greens, by comparison, have gone from strength to strength, helped in part by worries over nuclear energy.

Bremen was the first regional state to elect environmentalists in 1979.

The debt-ridden city-port, has been run by the left-wing SPD since the end of World War II.

There will be two more regional elections this year in Germany, including Berlin in September.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

01:01 May 23, 2011 by jmclewis
Green's care little about the environment the Green's they are concerned with is in another's wallet.........

So Watch Out for the Big Green Ginger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
02:29 May 23, 2011 by taiwanluthiers
It's funny that in Taiwan there is also a party of the same color who are also only concerned with people's wallet rather than what they say they care about... (and a former president of that party is in jail because he stole money from the government too)
02:30 May 23, 2011 by wenddiver
Ronald McDonald's mother answered questions about the Green Party and showed the world that she was wearing deoderant. She was looking forward to eleminating Ships in Bremmen and replacing them with a green industry like knitting toaster covers.
08:07 May 23, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
People are getting tired of schwarz-gelb, both on the state and national level.

And that is a good thing. Regardless.

I see the CDU and FDP at 30 percent combined in the 2013 general elections, with the FDP not making the five-percent hurdle and failing abysmally at around 3 to 4 percent.
08:30 May 23, 2011 by John Whitehurst
" Tebt-ridden city-port, has been run by the left-wing SPD since the end of World War II."

Allowing 16 year olds to vote is not a smart move; WHY most Teachers are Green or very Liberal just as Uni Professors are. They live in a book world of it could, can be done. The reality of experince is lacking, just theory and conjectur that one can see the results of with the former UDSSR. And now Spains people are tiired of the communist party in Spain. When will the liberals wake up that it want work. But they tend to think we can do it different! The great experiment did not work but they continue to push for the going back to Marx and his ideas.

I really don't see why; they are educated people and must see the results of the Marx effect and its aftermath. Its called take the Horse Blinders off and look 180 and really look at reality.


08:35 May 23, 2011 by Twiceshy
I am happy that fascists lost elections but let's see if Greens will change fascist politics about immigrants. All people should be equal, work and live where they want it. As I know, south Germany has lack of agricultural workers but government don't want to let Polish and Ukrainians to come to work on the land (and Germans don't want to work on the land).
08:44 May 23, 2011 by frankiep
I think it is pretty obvious that you have no idea what the word 'fascist' means. Here's a hint, it does NOT mean anyone who doesn't agree with far left politics.
09:03 May 23, 2011 by lwexcel
I am not going to comment on the political side, but I must say that the lady in the picutre really looks like the village idiot!
09:37 May 23, 2011 by ame64
The CDU is messing up so bad that the green party get stronger. This whole trend is a little worrying.

Lets see what they can do, maybe better than we think. And lets be honest, it cant get any worse that what the cdu is up too at the moment.
15:52 May 23, 2011 by hanskarl
Germany's Green Party promises and ideology are about as valid and promising as Harold Camping's Doomsday formula and end time projections. They are unprovable, unreasonable, lacking proper foundation, and filled with false hopes. They will cost the citizens of Bremen (like Baden-Württenburg) more than they can imagine.
18:05 May 23, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
It's clear that Fukushima scared people enough to change their political affiliations. And "fascists" don't rule anything. However, now that the Greens are in power, it's fair to say that communism seems once more triumphant. Have we forgotten what it was like? Living under communist pigs?
19:19 May 23, 2011 by neunElf
I guess the problem in Bremen was that it did not have enough public debt and unemployment.

Not to worry the Green machine will help accelerate both of those!

Just to have to make sure their are still a couple of Lander with viable economies to help pay for the Greenies utopian fantasies!
Today's headlines
Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd