May 09, 2022 05:03 GMT
The conservative CDU won by a landslide in this weekend's state election held in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein in a contest seen as a litmus test of Chancellor Scholz's response to the Ukraine crisis.
- Official results put the CDU at 43.4%, well ahead of the runner-ups Greens who won 18.3% of the vote. Scholz's SPD came third with 16.0%, which represents their worst-ever result in the state and a loss of 11.3 percentage points from the previous poll.
- While the results are not representative for the national population, the dismal performance of the SPD bodes ill for Scholz's party ahead of this Sunday's state election in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state currently governed by a CDU-FDP coalition.
- The federal chancellor came under criticism for his undecisive policy surrounding Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Compared with most of his Western peers, Scholz took a relatively dovish stance, although he gradually developed a somewhat more assertive stance towards Moscow.
- Scholz sought to clarify his position in a televised address that aired on Sunday. The Chancellor pledged to continue supplying Ukraine with heavy weapons and openly sided with Kyiv, while reiterating that Berlin would "take no decisions that would turn NATO into a party to this war."