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Germany’s political future hinges on upcoming regional vote

Media Contact

Rebecca Valli

The upcoming polls in the central German state of Hesse are increasingly catching analysts’ eyes after the recent electoral shake in Bavaria. Angela Merkel’s coalition, which lost significantly to both the right-wing and green parties in Bavaria earlier this month, now faces another important test. 

Mona Krewel

Visiting Assistant Professor

Mona Krewel, assistant professor of government at Cornell University is an expert on German politics and a long-time former campaigner of the Social Democratic party in Hesse. She says that the upcoming state election in the central German state will have profound consequences at the national level of German politics.

Krewel is available for interviews in English and German. 

Krewel says:

“The state election in Hesse on October 28 is a vital question for the grand coalition in Berlin, chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), and the party leader of her coalition partner (SPD), Andrea Nahles. If the SPD were to do as badly as they did in the recent state elections in Bavaria, Nahles will have to deal with an open debate in her party about the continuation of the grand coalition, and it is highly likely that many of her fellow party members would also demand her resignation.

“A deep fall of the SPD and the continuation of the current black-green government in Hesse, therefore would also not win Merkel much. However, if Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, the top candidate of the SPD in Hesse could reach more than 25 percent that would not only give Nahles but also Merkel a break until the European parliamentary elections in 2019. That would also save the grand coalition in Berlin some time to finally deliver.

“However, much depends on how the Green Party and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) will be doing on Sunday. The Green Party not outrunning the SPD again like they did in Bavaria, as well as a strong AfD would make a grand coalition in Hesse more likely, and thereby paradoxically against the goal of AfD voters save Merkel’s and Nahles’ retention of power.”

Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.