State elections: Woidke wants to win back AfD voters

State elections
Woidke wants to win back AfD voters

Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke has so far been unimpressed by surveys. photo

© Jens Kalaene/dpa

In less than seven months, a new state parliament will be elected in Brandenburg. The AfD is ahead in polls. SPD Prime Minister Woidke is nevertheless confident.

Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) hopes to attract voters in the state elections in September to be able to win back the AfD. “I firmly believe in bringing back AfD voters. At least those who have gone from the democratic parties to the AfD in recent years,” Woidke told the “Rheinische Post” from Düsseldorf. He underestimated the AfD for a long time. “In the state parliament we often avoided direct confrontation. Now things are different.”

A new state parliament will be elected in Brandenburg on September 22nd. The SPD has governed since 1990 with changing partners, currently with the CDU and the Greens. The AfD was ahead in the most recent polls. Most recently, the SPD came in third place behind the AfD and CDU, and before that it was mostly in second place. According to extremism researcher Gideon Botsch, the AfD in Brandenburg is largely not elected by protest voters, but has a solid base of voters.

Woidke was unimpressed by surveys. “From personal experience, I am someone who doesn’t pay too much attention to surveys,” said the SPD politician. “We had the same discussion five years ago. The SPD was behind until shortly before the elections. We still won,” said Woidke. “The AfD is and has always been in the minority.”

Woidke stated that his goal was to ensure that Brandenburg remained “in good hands”. Political, economic and social stability is necessary for this, said the head of government. “We are finally on the right track. He referred to the economic growth, which was by far the highest in the country in the first half of 2023. “All of this will be called into question if the wrong people come to power here.”

Election researcher believes winning back AfD voters is conceivable

The managing director of the opinion research institute infratest dimap, Roland Abold, believes it is possible that AfD supporters will vote for other parties again. “At least more than 40 percent of AfD sympathizers can basically imagine voting for another party in the future,” Abold told the “Rheinische Post”. “There is definitely potential for the established parties to convince more voters here again.”

In the relevant election surveys such as the ARD Germany trend, the AfD is again below 20 percent, said Abold. “Due to the proximity of this development to the protests, it is obvious that there is a connection here.” The re-foundation of the Sahra Wagenknecht (BSW) alliance in particular may be at least as important an explanatory factor for the slightly lower AfD values. The combination of more left-wing economic policy positions and more conservative socio-political positions has not yet been clearly represented in the party landscape. “In this respect, there is definitely potential for the BSW, especially in East Germany and, thanks to its anti-migration positioning, also among previous AfD sympathizers.”


source site-3