According to initial projections by ARD and ZDF, the red-green coalition under minister-president stephan weil might even be able to continue. CDU with top candidate bernd althusmann slips to its worst result since 1959 after leading in polls for long time.
Election winner weil spoke of a "brilliant success" for the SPD: "for the first time since the last state election with gerhard schroder 19 years ago, we can again become the strongest faction in the state parliament, which is great", he said. SPD secretary general hubertus heil says: "red-green is not yet finished." Green party leader simone peter also hopes for a continuation of the alliance, but according to the first projections, two mandates are missing for that.
The coalition in lower saxony is the last red-green alliance in a flat state. If it is not enough to continue, hanover will have a difficult time forming a government. A rough coalition of SPD and CDU, a traffic light alliance of SPD, FDP and greens, and a jamaica coalition were all conceivable. Chancellor angela merkel (CDU) will be negotiating such a coalition of CDU, FDP and greens at the federal level in berlin starting midweek. The weak CDU result in lower saxony should not make it easier for them to speak out.
Three weeks after their historic defeat in the federal election, the social democrats were able to improve their result in lower saxony in line with the projections from 18.3 p.M. Increase to 37.2 to 37.3 percent (2013: 32.6). CDU now only at 34.9 percent (36.0). For the first time since 2003, it is no longer the strongest force in the state.
The greens also lose, reaching 8.2 to 8.5 percent (13.7). The FDP lands at 7.0 to 7.4 percent (9.9). The afd narrowly makes it into parliament for the first time with 5.5 percent, but falls well short of its most recent electoral successes. The left must tremble for the entry, it lies according to the projections with 4.6 to 4.8 percent (3.1). If this remains the case, there will be five instead of four parties in the state parliament in hanover in the future.
According to the projections of infratest dimap (ARD) and forschungsgruppe wahlen (ZDF), the distribution of seats looks like this: CDU 51 (2013: 54), SPD 54 (49), grune 12 (20), FDP 10 (14) and the afd 8 (0). Red-green now has 66 mandates – absolute majority is 68 mandates.
The new election became necessary because elke twesten, a member of parliament for the greens, switched from the greens to the CDU at the beginning of august. The red-green coalition that has been in power since 2013 thus lost its one-vote majority. The election was originally scheduled for january 2018.
Schleswig-holstein’s minister president daniel gunther advised the CDU in lower saxony not to close their minds to talks about a grand coalition. But the ball is in the SPD’s court; it has become the strongest force, the CDU politician said.
SPD state leader weil called a grand coalition "extremely unlikely" during the election campaign the CDU state chairman althusmann called it an option. But the climate between the two parties is tense because of the change in the twesten coalition. Moreover, a rough coalition is not a tradition in lower saxony. The last time such a coalition ended there was in 1970.
The CDU, FDP and greens are opposed to a jamaika coalition, especially since the mood between the greens and the CDU has also been poisoned by the change in the west. In addition, it is unlikely that the greens will enter into negotiations with the CDU with such a strong SPD result. The FDP has categorically rejected a traffic light coalition because it does not want to be the majority procurer for the continuation of a red-green alliance. FDP vice-chairman wolfgang kubicki confirmed this in the evening: "it will remain the same, there will be no traffic light with the free democrats."
For the SPD, the result means a huge success at the end of the super election year. In addition to the federal election (20.5 percent), the party has also lost all three state elections so far this year. The social democrats achieved their last success in the election of the berlin house of representatives in september 2016, albeit with heavy losses. Now, for the first time since the election in rhineland-palatinate in march 2016, they are able to increase their share of the vote.
The election could also give a boost to SPD leader martin schulz, who plans to stand for re-election in december despite his failed candidacy for chancellor. Immediately after the elections, he announced that he would lead the SPD into the opposition.
CDU and challenger althusmann are big losers. The result could not make the jamaika negotiations for chancellor merkel easy either. In lower saxony, the CDU was still polling at around 40 percent in mid-august, and a success was considered certain. The reason for the losses could be the poor performance of the CDU in the federal election, but also the change of the green deputy twesten to the CDU, which is seen by the SPD and the greens as intrigue. Moreover, weil’s popularity ratings are far higher than althusmann’s.
The afd narrowly makes it into the state parliament and is now represented in 14 of 16 state parliaments. One reason for the comparatively weak result may also have been the ongoing quarrels within the state party.