This is what you need to know about the state election in Schleswig-Holstein

Updated on 05/06/2022 at 12:28

  • Schleswig-Holstein elects a new state parliament on May 8.
  • The so-called Jamaican coalition of the CDU, the Greens and the FDP currently governs.
  • Prime Minister Daniel Günther’s CDU is well ahead in the polls.

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In Schleswig-Holstein, coalitions have changed frequently in recent decades. In 2000, the coalition that was in power until then, then red-green, was last confirmed in a state election. Prime Minister Daniel Günther has led a so-called Jamaican coalition of the CDU, Greens and FDP since 2017. The new state parliament will be elected on May 8. A summary:

What are the most important facts about the election?

About 2.3 million eligible voters are allowed to vote. There are 16 parties with state lists. Almost 300 candidates are in 35 constituencies. In 2017, the turnout was 64.2 percent.

What voting rights apply in Schleswig-Holstein?

The five percent barrier and the two-vote system apply. The first ballot gives 35 seats from constituencies. The one who gets the most votes there is elected. The second vote is for the state list of a party, which adds 34 regular seats. Seat allocation is calculated using the Sainte-Lagua / Schepers method. If a party gets more direct seats in constituencies than it would in the second round, it retains those multiple seats. The other parties receive compensation mandates according to their share.

Why is SSW a special case?

As a Danish minority party, the South Schleswig Voters Association (SSW) is exempt from the five per cent clause. However, he needs at least as many votes as are needed to split the last term. The party, which also represents the Frisian minority, has been in parliament on this basis since 1958. For a long time it had only one MP, currently there are three. From 2012 to 2017, the SSW formed a government with the SPD and the Greens. With Anke Spoorendonk, the association provided the then Minister of Justice.

What is the starting position?

Politicians from seven parties are currently sitting in the state parliament. The strongest force in 2017 was the CDU with 32.0 percent, followed by the SPD with 27.3 percent, the Greens with 12.9 percent and the FDP with 11.5 percent. AfD entered parliament for the first time with 5.9 percent; the left lost the 5 percent barrier. SSW reached 3.3 percent, enough for three terms. Initially the five-member AfD parliamentary group disbanded because the party was left with only three deputies. A faction must have at least four. Former AfD President Doris von Sayn-Wittgenstein was expelled from the party and parliamentary group. Frank Brodehl left the AfD and later joined the Liberal-Conservative Reform Party.

Who are the main candidates?

Prime Minister Günther, 48, is chairman of the CDU state association. He has led the government consisting of the CDU, the Greens and the FDP since 2017. The SPD’s main candidate is former Chancellor Thomas Losse-Müller (49), a former Greens, economist and banker. The Greens’ candidate is Finance Minister Monica Heinold (63). The main FDP candidate, Economy Minister Bernd Buchholz (60), has been the head of the Gruner + Jahr publishing house. AfD has appointed former group leader Jörg Nobis (46), former SSW MP Lars Harms (57). Susanne Spethmann and Johann Knigge-Blietschau compete for the left.

What issues dominated the election campaign?

After the outbreak of war in Ukraine, high energy and fuel prices played a major role. The expansion of renewable energies, especially wind energy in rural areas, was also one of the most important topics. The CDU and FDP are calling for more oil production in the Wadden Sea in order to reduce dependence on imports from Russia. For the Greens, this is as difficult as building an LNG terminal for liquefied natural gas in Brunsbüttel: the state’s leading Greens support it, as does Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), a conference of the state party rejected it. . Agricultural policy is a highly contentious issue between the CDU and the FDP on the one hand and the Greens on the other.

What do the polls say?

A poll by the Wahlen ZDF research group, published Thursday, sees the CDU at 38 per cent and the SPD and the Greens at 18 per cent. It is followed by FDP (eight percent) and AfD and SSW, each with six percent. The other parties also come to a total of six percent. Polls have long established a high level of satisfaction with the state government and very high ratings of approval for Günther, including supporters of other parties.

What coalitions can there be after the state elections?

According to the German press agency (dpa), the CDU would prefer to govern only with the FDP, but says it would like to continue the Jamaican coalition. If that is not enough for a bipartisan CDU / FDP coalition, SSW may also join. A majority would also have an alliance of the CDU and the Greens, viz. The FDP has expressed a clear preference for the CDU, which could hamper a traffic light coalition with the SPD and the Greens. The Greens are going to the polls without making a coalition statement. (dpa / okb)

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