• Germany's news in English

FDP membership in 'vicious downward spiral'

The Local · 29 Dec 2012, 13:28

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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.

Story continues below…

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
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
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd