Christian Democrats win in German state of Schleswig-Holstein


Central Europe


Daniel Guenther celebrates, holding a flowers bouquet after exit polls for the Schleswig-Holstein state elections were announced on TV at the CDU headquarters in Kiel. Photo AFP, Axel Heimken

In the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, the Christian Democratic CDU, which is already in power, has won the parliamentary elections. According to the preliminary election results, the CDU won 43.4 per cent of the votes.

The party, which until last year had been in the national government, gained a substantial victory. For a comparable result, one has to go back in memory quite a bit – it is the CDU's strongest performance in the state since the 1980s, German Tagesschau writes.

It is the CDU's first success since the national election defeat last year. The social-democratic SPD then walked away with the victory.

German media explain the CDU's apparent victory in Schleswig-Holstein mainly through the popularity of Prime Minister Daniel Günther, who has the highest rating of any German state government. The SPD entered the race with the little-known candidate Thomas Losse-Müller.

With the incumbent Minister of Finance Monika Heinold and State Parliament Vice-President Aminata Touré as the leading duo, the Greens, according to the preliminary election results, gained 18.3 per cent of the vote – overtaking the SPD as the second strongest force in Schleswig-Holstein so far.

The elections in the north are the second of four state elections in Germany this year. At the end of March, the SPD won the absolute majority in Saarland and relegated the CDU, which had been in power for 23 years, to the opposition benches. On 15 May, voters in the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia will go to the polls, with Lower Saxony following in October.



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