Voters in two German states punished Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party in regional elections. For the third consecutive time the Greens in Baden-Württemberg improved their results and gained votes. The Greens benefitted from their highly popular candidate Winfried Kretschmann who now can choose between continuing the green-black coalition or an alliance with SPD and FDP. This strong position for the Greens is remarkable. It underlines their role as Germany’s hinge party, being able to pursue their policies in different coalitions.
For the CDU these are the worst election results in Baden-Württemberg ever. Though the Kretschmann bonus does not translate to the rest of Germany, tonight will give tailwinds for the Greens on the federal level. They will take this as a strong mandate for more climate action. In Rhineland-Palatinate the Greens can almost double their result from five years ago and continue the traffic-light coalition. Under Chancellor Angela Merkel the conservatives have built up an image of being Germany’s indispensable natural government party. This image is fading. The field for the Bundestag election in September has opened up tonight. The CDU/CSU no longer has a lock on the chancellorship. 2021 is gonna be an exciting election year for Germany.