Free Trial

Scholz's SPD Suffer Setback In NRW But Could Still Form Regional Gov't


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) suffered a notable loss of seats in the regional election held in Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, on Sunday.

  • Many observers are putting the SPD's poor performance (its seat total fell by 13 to 56) down to national rather than local factors, given Scholz's prominent role in the election campaign. While Scholz has been criticised for seemingly vacillating on issues regarding the war in Ukraine, his federal coalition allies the Greens (despite being nominally a pacifist party) have been viewed as taking a strong line on Russia's actions and support for Kyiv. The Greens won 39 seats, an increase of 25 from the 2017 election.
  • The centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) retained first place, increasing its seat total by four to 76. It will not be able to re-form the previous coalition with the pro-business liberal Free Democrats (FDP), which suffered a poor result in winning just 12 seats down from 28 in 2017.
  • The CDU could seek to form a two-party coalition with the Greens, as this coalition would comfortably clear the 98-seat majority hurdle. The CDU and Greens govern at the state level in Baden-Wurttemberg with the Greens as the senior partner.
  • Despite the SPD's poor performance, it could still seek to form a governing coalition. Mirroring the 'traffic light' coalition at the federal level, an SPD-Green-FDP coalition would hold a majority in the NRW Landtag. However, SPD regional head Thomas Kutschaty has acknowledged the difficulties in putting together a three-party coalition compared to a CDU-Green administration with just two parties.
Chart 1. Result of 15 May North Rhine-Westphalia Election, Seats

Source: State Returning Officer, MNI

To read the full story



MNI is the leading provider

of intelligence and analysis on the Global Fixed Income, Foreign Exchange and Energy markets. We use an innovative combination of real-time analysis, deep fundamental research and journalism to provide unique and actionable insights for traders and investors. Our "All signal, no noise" approach drives an intelligence service that is succinct and timely, which is highly regarded by our time constrained client base.

Our Head Office is in London with offices in Chicago, Washington and Beijing, as well as an on the ground presence in other major financial centres across the world.