The CDU clearly won the local elections in North Rhine-Westphalia despite slight losses. Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) has thus received tailwind for his candidacy for the CDU chairmanship. The electoral success of his party was recognition for the “path of measure and middle in the pandemic,” said Laschet. Many did not expect the CDU to win “on this scale” in a country that had been ruled by the SPD for 50 years.
In the elections to the city councils and district assemblies, the Christian Democrats received 34.3 percent of the vote, according to the provisional state result. They were 3.2 percentage points below their 2014 result. The second strongest force was the Social Democrats with 24.3 percent, 7.1 percentage points less than six years ago. It was the worst result in a NRW local election. The Greens were able to increase their share of the vote by 8.3 percentage points to 20.0 percent and thus achieved their best result in a local election in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The AfD came to 5.0 percent – according to the information that is 2.5 percentage points more than in 2014. 5.6 percent of the voters voted for the FDP. That is a small plus of 0.8 points. At 3.8 percent, the left remained 0.8 points below the 2014 result. According to the ministry, voter turnout of 51.9 percent was slightly higher than that of 2014 (50.0 percent).
SPD party leader Walter-Borjans sees the result as a “turnaround”
The North Rhine-Westphalian SPD leader Sebastian Hartmann emphasized that his party had done better than many polls predicted. The federal chairwoman, Saskia Esken, called the election result “a disappointing result”. Despite massive losses, the SPD party chairman Norbert Walter-Borjans sees an upward trend in his party compared to the European elections in May 2019. The SPD “went through the valley” with the European elections last year, the co-chairman said on Monday on ARD- “ Morning magazine “. At that time, the SPD in North Rhine-Westphalia had 19.2 percent. “In the time that we are responsible for now in the new board of directors and also now with the candidate for chancellor, (is) there is yet another piece, a clear piece of upward trend to be seen. I think that’s a trend reversal, ”said Walter-Borjans.
The Greens strive for leadership positions
The state chairmen of the Greens, Mona Neubaur and Felix Banaszak, declared: “This is a fantastic result for us.” Green issues such as climate protection and the transition to traffic would have decided the choice. After strong gains in numerous cities and districts, the Greens are making leadership claims. “We are the ones who have won and we aim to derive leadership from it,” said NRW party leader Mona Neubaur on Monday. “We are no longer appendages to other parties.” Thus, in a number of large cities, at least arithmetically strong black-green majorities are emerging.
FDP regional chief, Family Minister Joachim Stamp, said the election was “also overshadowed by the debate about Armin Laschet’s candidacy for chancellor”.
There are still 26 trick decisions to be made
In addition to the municipal parliaments, mayors, mayors and district administrators were also elected in NRW. In 15 cities, the mayor has to be elected on September 27th, because none of the applicants could win more than 50 percent of the votes on Sunday. These include Düsseldorf, where the CDU could succeed for the first time again in the state capital of a large area of land. Runoff elections are also required in 11 districts. In North Rhine-Westphalia’s only metropolis of Cologne, the mayor Henriette Reker, supported by the CDU and the Greens, has to go to the runoff election. Reker received 45.1 percent of the vote and thus missed an absolute majority. Their challenger from the SPD, Andreas Kossiski, received 26.8 percent of the vote.
dpa / hmw