Majority of Germans believe anti-immigration AfD party will win PM spot in one eastern state this year

AfD co-chair Alice Weidel. (MTI/EPA/Clemens Bilan)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

The majority of Germans believe that the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party will win an absolute majority in an eastern state and obtain a prime minister position, according to a poll from the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

The new poll shows that 53 percent of Germans believe the AfD will likely achieve this goal while 32 percent think it is unlikely. In the eastern half of the country, however, the proportion of those who are “betting” on an AfD provincial prime minister is already 58 percent.

This year, elections will be held in three east German states: Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg. The AfD is polling in first place in all three states; however, it would have to win an absolute majority in order to be able to govern, as all other parties have vowed to never work with the party. Currently, its best chance of achieving this goal is in Saxony, where the party is at 37 percent in the polls.

The poll shows that 42 percent of those surveyed believe, however, that the center-right CDU will eventually cooperate with the AfD and abandon its “firewall” policy against working with the party at the regional and federal levels. In fact, there are already signs at the regional level of the CDU teaming up with the AfD to pass laws.

The AfD party, which was founded 10 years ago, rapidly rose to become the third-strongest party in the Bundestag in 2017, with 12.6 percent of the vote, after the conservative CDU and the social-democratic SPD. Since then, there has been no stopping it, thanks above all to its opposition to liberal immigration policies.

AfD’s support has grown rapidly, particularly in the eastern half of the Federal Republic, in the former communist GDR, but also gradually in the western half of the country.

In addition to criticizing the official refugee policy, it places great emphasis on social support for the German population and is now calling for greater representation of German interests rather than the previous goal of leaving the European Union. As a result, the AfD has won a series of local elections in the eastern half of Germany in recent months.

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