North Rhine-Westphalia is the most densely populated state and was elected at the local level today. CDU Prime Minister Armin Laschet can celebrate according to a prediction. Probably not the SPD.
Clear election victory for the CDU, another setback for the SPD and record result for the Greens: in the local elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, voters set clear accents on Sunday. According to an extrapolation (7 p.m.) for the WDR, Prime Minister Armin Laschet’s Christian Democrats can count on 36.2 percent of the vote nationally. They were thus 1.3 percentage points below their 2014 result.
SPD lands just ahead of the Greens
The second strongest force is therefore the Social Democrats, who, after significant losses, should end just ahead of the Greens. According to Infratest Dimap’s forecast, the SPD will lose nearly 8 percentage points and come in just 23.7 percent – the worst result ever in an NRW local election. The Greens increased their vote share by more than 7 percentage points to 19.1 percent. That would be her best result at the state level in North Rhine-Westphalia. In the metropolis of Cologne, the Greens are predicted to be by far the strongest force in the city council.
The NRW municipal elections were watched with particular tension this year. It was the last big vote before the CDU federal party conference in December, at which NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet applies for the party chairmanship. “I’m glad it’s a good Sunday,” said Laschet. The vote was the largest election in Germany this year. “And the CDU has won the election.”
“Trend has turned”
Despite the losses, the North Rhine-Westphalian SPD leader Sebastian Hartmann sees his party as a strong political force. “Compared to the 2019 European elections, we can significantly improve our result nationally, even though we are unfortunately behind the 2014 local election results,” he said. “Nevertheless, the trend has turned and we are ahead of the Greens.” Their State Presidents Mona Neubaur and Felix Banaszak stated, “This is a fantastic result for us.” Green issues such as climate protection and the transition to traffic would have made the choice.
The AfD is forecast to improve to 6 percent after only playing a minor role in 2014 at 2.6 percent. For the FDP, the forecast voted after 4.5 percent. This roughly corresponds to the result of 2014. On the left is 4 percent, slightly below the result of 2014, when it reached 4.7 percent. The turnout of 51.5 percent was slightly higher than in 2014 (50 percent).
Mayors must be pending
In addition to the municipal parliaments, mayors, mayors and district administrators were also elected in NRW. In the only metropolis in North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne, the independent mayor Henriette Reker may have to go to a second election. According to the extrapolation (7:32 PM), she got 47.0 percent of the vote – so she would have just missed the absolute majority. Their SPD challenger Andreas Kossiski received 25.2 percent of the vote. According to an opinion poll before the elections, Reker could hope for a victory in the first round.
There were also second elections in the largest Westphalian city of Dortmund. According to the extrapolation (7:25 PM), the SPD applicant Thomas Westphal comes out at 34.6 percent. It is still unclear who will be able to play against Westphal in the polls in 14 days. In the extrapolation, Andreas Hollstein was 24.4 percent ahead of former Green State chairman Daniela Schneckenburger (21.3 percent). In NRW’s state capital Düsseldorf, SPD mayor Thomas Geisel assumed he should be in a second election against CDU candidate Stephan Keller.
With approximately 14 million eligible voters, the NRW municipal election was the largest round of voting of the year – and the first under extensive Corona terms. There were no major gatherings of the parties and the election campaign was on the back burner. On election day, there were long queues in front of numerous polling stations. According to a spokesman for the city, the last polling stations in Bochum did not close until around 7 p.m. Anyone who stood in line for the polling station at 6 p.m. was allowed to vote.