Germany turns right

Merkel’s voters desert her over refugees policy, writes Hans Kundnani

The World Today Published 22 March 2016 Updated 30 November 2020 2 minute READ

Hans Kundnani

Former Associate Fellow, Europe Programme

As soon as the first projections came in from the elections in three German states in the early evening of March 13, the arguments started about whether German voters had endorsed or rejected Chancellor Angela Merkel’s approach to the refugee crisis.

What made it difficult to reach a definitive conclusion was not just that the results were different in each of the three states but that while some candidates from Merkel’s Christian Democrat party had distanced themselves from her, some of the candidates from other parties had, in fact, supported her.

For example, in Baden-Württemberg, the Green Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann, who had said during the campaign that he ‘prayed’ every day for Merkel, increased his share of the vote to 30 per cent – for the first time more than the Christian Democrat candidate.

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