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Social Democrats Suffer Another Defeat In Regional Poll

GERMANY

Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democratic Party (SPD) lost to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the election to the regional legislature of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state.

  • This is the SPD's second electoral defeat in as many weeks after the Schleswig-Holstein May 8 poll and deals a blow to Scholz, who travelled to the state multiple times during the campaign period.
  • Scholz's party won just shy of 27% of the vote, its worst-ever result in North Rhine-Westphalia, with the CDU improving their performance to nearly 36%.
  • The federal government's handling of the Russia-Ukraine crisis has been widely cited among the reasons for these unsatisfactory results, with Scholz accused of foot-dragging on Western initiatives to support Kyiv.
  • The Greens almost tripled their vote share, which makes them a kingmaker, as a poor showing from the FDP rules out the reinstatement of a CDU-FDP administration.
  • A CDU-Green administration is the most likely outcome but a replication of the federal "traffic lights" alliance (SPD+Greens+FDP) or a "Jamaica" coalition (CDU+Greens+FDP) are also possible scenarios.
  • Whether or not the CDU will enter the next administration, the results bode ill for the SPD, as the sheer size of North Rhine-Westphalia makes the regional poll a bellwether for national sentiment.
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Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democratic Party (SPD) lost to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the election to the regional legislature of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state.

  • This is the SPD's second electoral defeat in as many weeks after the Schleswig-Holstein May 8 poll and deals a blow to Scholz, who travelled to the state multiple times during the campaign period.
  • Scholz's party won just shy of 27% of the vote, its worst-ever result in North Rhine-Westphalia, with the CDU improving their performance to nearly 36%.
  • The federal government's handling of the Russia-Ukraine crisis has been widely cited among the reasons for these unsatisfactory results, with Scholz accused of foot-dragging on Western initiatives to support Kyiv.
  • The Greens almost tripled their vote share, which makes them a kingmaker, as a poor showing from the FDP rules out the reinstatement of a CDU-FDP administration.
  • A CDU-Green administration is the most likely outcome but a replication of the federal "traffic lights" alliance (SPD+Greens+FDP) or a "Jamaica" coalition (CDU+Greens+FDP) are also possible scenarios.
  • Whether or not the CDU will enter the next administration, the results bode ill for the SPD, as the sheer size of North Rhine-Westphalia makes the regional poll a bellwether for national sentiment.