Commentary on the NRW election in Bonn A confirmation of Katja Dörner's climate course

Meinung | Bonn · The CDU may have won the election in Bonn by a narrow margin. But the real winners are the Greens. This gives them and their alliance partners in the council tailwind to push through the climate change in Bonn, even against opposition, says GA editor Andreas Baumann.

 State parliamentary candidate Julia Höller and Lord Mayor Katja Dörner celebrate the Greens' strong results on Sunday evening.

State parliamentary candidate Julia Höller and Lord Mayor Katja Dörner celebrate the Greens' strong results on Sunday evening.

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

It is a nail-biting victory for the CDU in Bonn. Voters’ “Zweitstimme” (or party vote) put the Greens close on the heels of the Blacks (CDU) in the state elections, and even ahead of them in the northern constituency of Bonn I. Christos Katzidis defended his seat in the state parliament in the south against Julia Höller more or less clearly, but Guido Déus and his Green challenger Tim Achtermeyer went head-to-head until late in the evening. This is not a flattering result for CDU councillor Déus, who lost his municipal constituency to a Green opponent in 2020.

The SPD loses out compared to the 2017 state election and is clearly beaten as the third strongest force. The FDP is experiencing a brutal crash in the former stronghold of Bonn. Even top candidate Joachim Stamp cannot change this. On the contrary, the former deputy minister-president from Röttgen has lost 14 to just over 8 per cent in the constituency of Bonn II - possibly also payback for the FDP’s controversial pandemic management, especially in day-care centres and schools.

The real election winners in Bonn are also the Greens

The real winners of the election in Bonn are the Greens. They have far more than doubled the number of “Zweitstimmen” votes they got compared with 2017! After the European, the municipal and the federal elections, this is the fourth ballot in three years from which they have emerged stronger. This undoubtedly has to do with tailwind from Berlin, where Baerbock and Habeck are impressive figures. But the trend also shows that the Green core issues of climate protection and the “Verkehrswende” (changing the way we think about transportation) are enormously important to many people. Even the current traffic jam problems in the city centre have not changed this. If the CDU and FDP, both in the council opposition, speculated that voters might punish the Greens for this, they were wrong.

Mayor Katja Dörner and the council coalition of the Greens, SPD, Left and Volt can take the election as confirmation of their climate course. Since it is highly likely that the Greens will be part of the new NRW government, the Bonn alliance will presumably soon receive state political support for this.

Original text: Andreas Baumann

Translation: Jean Lennox

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