NRW elections Hannelore Kraft resigns: Social democrats in free fall, CDU wins clearly

Bonn · With a bitter outcome for the SPD, the NRW voters paved the way for a new coalition. The CDU regained in popularity, and the FDP managed the best result in their history. The Green Party got into the parliament despite a huge loss in votes, the AfD also climbed the 5% mark and will be part of the NRW parliament.

First results show a disastrous outcome of the North Rhine Westphalian elections for Hannelore Kraft and the Social Democrats (SPD) with a loss of 8% and an historically low vote of just 31.1%. As an immediate reaction she announced her resignation from all her posts including as NRW premier. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) regained power in what traditionally is a social democratic homeland, with 33.7% of the votes. The FDP managed their best result ever with 12.3%, and the AfD also climbed the 5% mark and got into the NRW parliament. The Green Party managed to get in with 6.2%, but also drew in a big loss in votes, compared to their previous result in 2012.

Thanks to sound expertise, deficits among the political opponents and a strong tailwind from the federal arm of the CDU, the Christian Democrats celebrated a clear win in the North Rhine Westphalian elections.

Chancellor and CDU head Angela Merkel now enjoys a much better image in NRW than the SPD challenger Martin Schulz, according to a poll by the research group Wahlen on Sunday evening. After massive losses during the past two NRW elections the CDU managed to regain a lot of ground, particularly in expertise and reputation.

And: Despite still having a positive image in general neither the NRW Social Democrats nor Hannelore Kraft achieved the popularity level they had five years ago. „A lot of criticism particularly directed at the Green Party led to a negative red-green government outcome and thus to an atmosphere ripe for their being voted out“, according to the psephologists from Mannheim.

The turnout of voters in Bonn was particularly high with 70.37 %, in comparison to approximately 60% on average in NRW. Bonn and the Bonn region are now looking at these direct candidates: Peter Kox, Gabriel Kunze, Folke große Deters, Denis Waldästl, Achim Tüttenberg and Dirk Schlömer for the SPD as well as Guido Deus, Christos Katzidis, Andrea Milz, Oliver Krauß, Katharina Gebauer and Björn Franken for the CDU. Of the smaller parties, Joachim Stamp (FDP) could have the best chances to reach the NRW parliament by the listed place method.

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