Bundestag election survey: CSU falls into Laschet crisis – Bavaria

The nationwide volatile situation a good two and a half weeks before the federal election is massively noticeable in the approval of the parties in Bavaria. If it were election day now, only 28 percent of the citizens in the Free State would vote for the CSU – that is a loss of eight percentage points compared to July. This would also be ten percentage points less than in the 2017 election. This is shown by the new “Bayerntrend”, a representative study for the BR political magazine “Kontrovers”.

The SPD is on the rise, it would come to 18 percent, which would correspond to a doubling of the previous value. This would put the Social Democrats in second place in the Free State, overtaking the Greens with 16 percent (minus two). The AfD is stable at ten, the FDP increases slightly to twelve percent, as do the free voters (seven). If this were the actual outcome of the election, the CSU would have to cope with its historically worst result – with a voter turnout like 2017, it would be below the five percent mark nationwide. She would still come to the Bundestag via direct mandates.

The descent of the CSU and the rise of the SPD apparently depend largely on the candidate. In a direct election, four out of ten Bavarians would vote for Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), an increase of 17 percentage points compared to July. CDU leader Armin Laschet falls in a theoretical direct election of 33 percent to 18; Annalena Baerbock from the Greens ranks roughly the same at 13 percent. Even only every second CSU voter would vote for Laschet directly. The pull of Scholz, however, is a special effect, most supporters of the other parties, including the Greens and CSU, see the deciding factor for their decision more in the content than in the people.

However, Olaf Scholz does not achieve the general popularity values ​​of the citizens of Bavaria – regardless of a direct election – of the CSU chairman Markus Söder. 63 percent of those questioned are satisfied with the work of the Prime Minister; That is nevertheless a minus of seven percent and very far from the personal top values ​​that Söder achieved as Corona manager in the famous “hour of the executive” in 2020. Only 17 percent of Bavarians are satisfied with Laschet – he is fifth, behind Söder, Scholz, Baerbock and even FDP boss Christian Lindner (he comes third in the personal ranking, 35 percent satisfaction).

Despite changes in the Sunday question and shifts in personal values, a majority of those surveyed still prefer a Union-led federal government – currently 34 percent; but this is a decrease, in July it was 47 percent. 28 percent, and thus almost twice as many as two months ago, favor the political change in Berlin in favor of an SPD-led alliance; another 13 percent want the Greens to be number one.

In the group of under 40-year-olds, 26 percent, just as many appreciate a green-led government as a Union chancellor. In contrast, among 40 to 54-year-olds and those eligible to vote in retirement age, the approval ratings for green governance are marginal: single-digit figures.

“It has the impression that Armin Laschet hangs like a millstone around the neck of the CSU and pulls the party further and further down, no matter how much the Christian Socials struggle,” says BR election expert Andreas Bachmann, interpreting the study. “The CSU does not manage to detach itself from the national trend. The Bayern card does not pull, there is no heavy surcharge in terms of content, just a defensive anti-red-red-green campaign.”

It should be mentioned that further changes, fluctuations or even a trend reversal are possible until September 26th. On the one hand, the survey situation for the parties has already been very changeable several times this year, traditional ties are known to play an increasingly less important role in society. On the other hand, according to BR, the Sunday question only measures “current voting tendencies and not actual voting behavior”, ie an “intermediate status in the opinion-forming process”. Of those who named a party preference in the Bavarian trend, 30 percent said that their decision could still change by election day – including an above-average number of younger people. In the case of eligible voters up to the age of 39, as many as four out of ten respondents said this.

It is possible that there is still a lot to be gained for the parties in terms of content. When asked about the currently most important political problems, 44 percent of those questioned named environmental and climate protection, one fifth each named immigration (21) and social inequality (19); This is followed by Corona, Pension and Economy. Two aspects are noticeable here: For example, the problem focus of the Bavarian voters in the 2017 Bundestag election was still clearly on migration, at 58 percent; At that time, climate protection was only of minor importance at only nine percent. In comparison to July, the sensitivity in Bavaria has increased again. In addition, a nationwide survey, also carried out in September and carried out by the Infratest-dimap institute, can be used for comparative purposes: According to this, Bavarians are significantly more interested in the climate than the German citizens surveyed.

If products and energy sources were to become more expensive, however, there would be contradictions in the Free State, as at the federal level. Increases in the purchase of milk, cheese, sausage and eggs as a result of CO₂ pricing would go “in the right direction” for around half of those eligible to vote, but not for the other half. But a significantly higher price of petrol is popular with just 26 percent of those eligible to vote in Bavaria; Only in the ranks of the Greens supporters (70 percent) is that a majority.

How do the parties represented in the state parliament react to the trends? In a similar poll on Tuesday, CSU General Secretary Markus Blume had spoken of a “wake-up call to all Bavarians” – there is a risk of a left slide or, as Söder recently put it, a “diluted” left-wing government in the form of a traffic light made up of the SPD, FDP and the Greens . According to Blume, it is still possible to “turn the trend around”. The CSU will “play the Bayern card again very clearly in the remaining time”. The people should feel that the election “is about the question of how Bavaria will be represented in the federal government in the future”. With targeted advertising for the second vote as “the Bavarian vote”, the main aim is to slow down the competition between the FDP and free voters. On Friday and Saturday the Christian Socials meet for the party congress in Nuremberg, where Armin Laschet is also a guest.

The Bavarian SPD leader Florian von Brunn said of the sudden momentum for his party in the Free State: “We are very happy about the great trust people have in Olaf Scholz and the encouragement for the Social Democrats.” He reads from the survey that many respondents see the candidate together with “good positions in the SPD” as the reason for their decision. Claudia Roth, Bavarian top candidate for the Greens, was confident despite the minus in the survey: “People want change. Responsible for the here and now are the Union and the SPD.” The Greens made a specific offer for the “election-critical issues” such as climate, “mere lip service from Laschet and Scholz” would not do justice to the challenges of the future.

The FDP country chief Daniel Föst had already announced on Tuesday in the similar poll on Twitter: “The FDP-Gebashe of the CSU is noticeably not working.” Voters rightly wanted content – “and we want to modernize the country”. The AfD is less concerned with the stagnating poll number (clearly below the 2017 federal election, in which it reached 12.4 percent), but rather with the weakness of the CSU. Parliamentary group leader Kathrin Ebner-Steiner interprets this as follows: “Markus Söder is the CSU’s gravedigger.” She blames the announced climate policy “at the expense of taxpayers” or a corona course “in the ivory tower”.

For the free voters, it will be disappointing that they are valued at seven percent, despite the increase. In FW circles there has been talk of the arithmetic game for a long time, according to which a double-digit result in Bavaria (in the state elections it was 11.6) would be necessary so that it is enough for five percent nationwide and some federal states with weaker results can be allowed . At the beginning of the week, however, party leader Hubert Aiwanger left no doubt about the will to fight with the political Gillamoos: The FW is needed as a “proven and yet fresh force” in the Bundestag, “a force that stirs up without just igniting”, but which is also ready to To carry responsibility.


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