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Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING, suggests that Germany’s state elections in Saxony and Brandenburg on Sunday were in fact only a continuation of a wider trend seen in recent years as both partners of the federal government, CDU and SPD, lost many votes in the two states.

Key Quotes

“The AfD gained relatively more votes than in other elections, garnering some 23% of the vote in Brandenburg and some 28% in Saxony. Despite the historic result, the AfD came in as the second largest party in both states, only a small margin behind the SPD in Brandenburg and the CDU in Saxony.”

“Forming governments in both states will not be easy, as it will probably require at least three coalition partners. The AfD will not be part of any of the two governments.”

“While the SPD and the CDU saw landslide losses, both parties have remained the biggest parties in their respective political strongholds, meaning that any inner party unrest will likely be limited.”

“Nevertheless, even if these two state elections have no imminent consequences for national politics, they were the last piece of evidence of a complete overhaul of the German political landscape.”

“The two coalition partners in Berlin have gone away with a very black eye. At least in the short run, we shouldn’t expect any new escalation of inner party tensions, either within the CDU or the SPD. However, structural changes in the political landscape, the slowing economy and weakening electoral support could easily bring back political tensions in Berlin.”