2016 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state election

The 2016 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state election was held on 4 September 2016 to elect the members of the 7th Landtag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.[1] The incumbent grand coalition between the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) led by Minister-President Erwin Sellering retained its majority and continued in office.

2016 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state election

← 2011 4 September 2016 2021 →

All 71 seats in the Landtag
36 seats needed for a majority
Turnout821,581 (61.9%) Increase 10.4pp
  First party Second party
  13-06-20-erwin-sellering-07.jpg 18-05-2017-Leif-Erik Holm-JonasR 2.jpg
Candidate Erwin Sellering Leif-Erik Holm
Party SPD AfD
Last election 35.6%, 27 seats Did not run
Seats won 26 18
Seat change Decrease 1 New party
Popular vote 246,395 167,852
Percentage 30.6% 20.8%
Swing Decrease 5.0pp New party

  Third party Fourth party
  Lorenz Caffier CDU Parteitag 2014 by Olaf Kosinsky-9.jpg 2017-05-18 - Helmut Holter - 1573.jpg
Candidate Lorenz Caffier Helmut Holter
Party CDU Left
Last election 23.0%, 18 seats 18.4%, 14 seats
Seats won 16 11
Seat change Decrease 2 Decrease 3
Popular vote 153,115 106,256
Percentage 19.0% 13.2%
Swing Decrease 4.0pp Decrease 5.2pp

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Landtagswahlkarte 2016.svg
Results for the direct mandates

Minister-President and Government before election

Erwin Sellering (SPD)
SPDCDU

Elected Minister-President and Government

Erwin Sellering (SPD)
SPDCDU

Campaign and issuesEdit

The governing grand coalition between the SPD and CDU was campaigning to defend its majority. Furthermore, the result of the right wing AfD party was eagerly awaited. During the campaign, its frontrunner, Leif-Erik Holm, warned of the "spread of Islam". The party hoped to be the strongest political force after the elections.[2]

Asked for the most important issues, Forschungsgruppe Wahlen/Politbarometer pollees ranked "unemployment" on first place (38%), followed by "refugees/asylum" (25%) and "school/education" (12%). Incumbent Erwin Sellering (64%) was far more popular as a candidate for Minister President than the CDU candidate Lorenz Caffier (18%).[3] In an infratest dimap poll, however, 34% named "refugees/migration" as the top issue, followed by "social justice" (27%) and "labor and economy" (20%).[4]

During the final days of the state election campaign, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has her constituency for the federal elections in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and spoke in support of CDU candidate Caffier, she hardened her tone against immigrants and spoke in favor of deporting more of them, using the word "Rückführung" (repatriation) instead of "Abschiebung" (deportation) – though deportations are difficult to realize amid laws and international relations to the immigrants' home countries. On 1 September, Merkel for the first time admitted mistakes in her refugee policies, but only such that had been made years ago in 2004/05. According to Die Zeit, some saw a turn in her policies of Willkommenskultur and presumed "angst" in the Chancellor's office.[5]

But in general, during the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern campaign, Merkel defended her refugee policies and the dictum "Wir schaffen das" ("We'll manage it"), saying she would have done everything again as she did the previous year. CDU candidate Caffier demanded prohibition of the burqa – even if there are hardly any women wearing a burqa in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern –, more police officers and more development of the rural areas. At the same time, SPD Minister President and frontrunner Erwin Sellering distanced himself from Merkel's refugee policies and demanded more respect for the life-time achievements of the East German people. Sellering e.g. stated: "It must not be, that our people are suffering, because the refugees are there."[6] On 2 September, Sellering said on the nationwide ZDF channel, Merkel was responsible for the popularity of the AfD in the state: "The people who can imagine to elect the AfD, are clearly concerned about the refugee policies of the chancellor."[7]

PartiesEdit

The table below lists parties represented in the 6th Landtag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Name Ideology Leader(s) 2011 result
Votes (%) Seats
SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands
Social democracy Erwin Sellering 35.6%
27 / 71
CDU Christian Democratic Union of Germany
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands
Christian democracy Lorenz Caffier 23.0%
18 / 71
Linke The Left
Die Linke
Democratic socialism Helmut Holter 18.4%
14 / 71
Grüne Alliance 90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Green politics Silke Gajek 8.7%
7 / 71
NPD National Democratic Party
Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands
Neo-Nazism Udo Pastörs 6.0%
5 / 71

Opinion pollingEdit

Polling firm Fieldwork date Sample
size
SPD CDU Linke Grüne NPD FDP AfD Others Lead
2016 state election 4 Sep 2016 30.6 19.0 13.2 4.8 3.0 3.0 20.8 5.6 9.8
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 31 Aug–1 Sep 2016 1,133 28 22 13 6 3 22 6 6
INSA 29 Aug 2016 1,031 28 20 15 6 2 2 23 4 8
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen 23–25 Aug 2016 1,020 28 22 13 6 3 21 7 6
Infratest dimap 23–24 Aug 2016 1,003 27 22 14 5 3 3 21 5 5
Infratest dimap 11–16 Aug 2016 1,003 26 23 16 6 3 3 19 4 3
INSA 2–9 Aug 2016 1,000 24 23 19 6 3 3 19 3 1
Infratest dimap 23–27 Jun 2016 1,002 22 25 17 7 4 3 19 3 3
Infratest dimap 21–26 Apr 2016 1,000 22 24 16 8 4 4 18 4 2
INSA 3–9 Feb 2016 1,002 22 29 16 5 4 4 16 1 7
Marktforschungsservice Dukath 6–13 Jan 2016 750 28.4 27.2 20.1 9.5 1.3 8.0 5.5 0.2 1.2
Marktforschungsservice Dukath 5–9 Jan 2015 750 34.3 30.6 17.4 9.7 1.4 1.6 4.1 0.9 2.7
Infratest dimap 2–5 May 2014 1,001 29 34 20 5 3 2 4 3 5
Marktforschungsservice Dukath 24–28 Feb 2014 800 32.7 31.8 19.4 6.2 1.1 1.7 2.3 4.9 0.9
Emnid 6–10 Sep 2013 750 31 28 19 8 5 2 7 3
Emnid 9–13 Aug 2013 750 32 28 20 8 5 2 5 4
2011 state election 4 Sep 2011 35.6 23.0 18.4 8.7 6.0 2.8 6.0 12.6

ResultsEdit

Final results showed the SPD with 30.6% of the vote, AfD in second with 20.8%, CDU in third with 19.0%, and Die Linke in fourth with 13.2%. These parties would all have representatives in the Landtag. The Greens, NPD and FDP, who had previously had representation, all scored below 5%, and so did not qualify for a seat in the Landtag. This left the SPD as the biggest party, but without a majority and opened the way to continuing a coalition with the CDU, or a new "Red-Red" coalition with Die Linke. The latter, however, would only have a majority of 2 seats in the Landtag, and would be commensurately less likely.[8]

Summary of the 4 September 2016 Landtag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern elections results
< 2011     2021 >
 
Party Popular vote Seats
Votes % +/– Seats +/–
Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands – SPD
246,395 30.6   5.1 26   1
Alternative for Germany
Alternative für Deutschland – AfD
167,852 20.8 New 18 New
Christian Democratic Union
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands – CDU
153,115 19.0   4.1 16   2
The Left
Die Linke
106,256 13.2   5.2 11   3
Alliance '90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
38,836 4.8   3.9   7
Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei – FDP
24,521 3.0   0.3
National Democratic Party of Germany
Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands – NPD
24,322 3.0   3.0   5
Animal Protection Party
Tierschutzpartei
9,674 1.2   1.2
Family Party
Familien-Partei Deutschlands
6,799 0.9   0.7
Freier Horizont
Freier Horizont
6,603 0.8   0.8
Die PARTEI
Partei für Arbeit, Rechtstaat, Tierschutz, Elitenförderung und basisdemokratische Initiative
5,051 0.6   0.3
Free Voters Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Freie Wähler
4,740 0.6   0.5
Pirate Party
Piratenpartei Deutschland
3,935 0.5   1.4
Other parties 8,320 1.1   1.1
Valid votes 806,419 98.2%   1.9
Invalid votes 15,162 1.8%   1.9
Totals and voter turnout 821,581 61.9%   10.4 71   0
Electorate 1,328,320 100.00
Source:[9]

AftermathEdit

Minister President Sellering stated that he wanted to lead exploratory talks with both the CDU and The Left.[10]

On 5 September, Chancellor Angela Merkel took part of the responsibility for the CDU result in the elections. "I am the party leader, I am the chancellor — you can't separate those in people's eyes, so I am of course responsible too" for the result, she stated at a press conference at the G20 summit in China. Again she defended her decisions regarding refugee policies, saying they were "right".[11] She also noted that federal and refugee policies had "superimposed" "everything" during the election campaign.[10] Merkel faced not only increasing criticism of the CSU party after the elections, also AfD leader Frauke Petry criticised Merkel: "This ignorance is exemplary," she said. "It is not just ignorance. What we see here is the continuing arrogance of power."[11] Also critics within the CDU party commented on the result. Specialist for domestic affairs Wolfgang Bosbach called the election day a "historic date", because the AfD came in before the CDU and the CDU was only third political force in a German territorial state. He demanded an alteration of the refugee policies, but saw no alternative for Merkel as the chancellor.[12] SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel accused Angela Merkel of "simply repeating 'we will manage it' without doing it as well."[11] Green party chief Cem Özdemir said that the persistent dispute within the Grand Coalition in Berlin had been "grist to the mill" of the AfD.[10] The Left chairman Bernd Riexinger criticised the CDU and SPD on the grounds that they had "embraced" the positions of the AfD during the election campaign.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "German anti-immigrant party poised for big gains in Merkel's home state". Reuters. 4 September 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Der Mann, der die AfD vom Schmuddelimage befreien will". Die Welt (in German). 26 August 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  3. ^ "SPD festigt Spitzenplatz in Umfragen". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). 26 August 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  4. ^ Wahlumfrage: SPD zieht an CDU vorbei, Ndr.de, 19 August 2016, in German
  5. ^ Merkel in der Angstfalle, Die Zeit, 2 September 2016, in German
  6. ^ Angela Merkel und die CDU vor dem AfD-Desaster, Der Tagesspiegel, 2 September 2016, in German
  7. ^ AfD rückt an die CDU heran, Handelsblatt, 2 September 2016, in German]
  8. ^ "WELT - Nachrichten, Hintergründe, News & Videos". N24.de. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
  9. ^ "Vorläufiges Ergebnis Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Wahl zum Landtag von Mecklenburg-Vorpommern am 4. September 2016" (in German). Landeswahlleiterin Sachsen-Anhalt. 4 September 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d Sellering will mit CDU und Linken verhandeln Archived 2016-09-05 at the Wayback Machine, Deutschlandfunk, 5 September 2016, in German
  11. ^ a b c Merkel Takes Blame for German Vote Defeat, but Holds Course, New York Times, 5 September 2016
  12. ^ "Historisches Datum, wenn CDU hinter AfD landet", Die Welt, 5 September 2016, in German