German far-right surges to second place in two state elections
On September 1, 2019, elections were held in two German federal states, Saxony and Brandenburg, both located in the former East Germany. In both states, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) has become the second-biggest party.
While both the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) have suffered significant losses, the CDU remained the strongest party in Saxony with 32% (followed by the AfD with 28%) and in Brandenburg, the state surrounding Berlin, the SPD remained the strongest force with 26% (while AfD got 24%). Despite holding on in Brandenburg, the SPD fell to a historic low of only 7.7% of the vote in Saxony. In both states, CDU and SPD will now discuss forming new coalitions, potentially with the Greens, as both parties are opposed to forming a coalition with the AfD.
The formation of the two state governments is likely to prove difficult and time-consuming, as both governments no longer have a majority for a continuation of the existing coalitions (SPD and the Left in Brandenburg, and CDU and SPD in Saxony).