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AfD clear winner in European elections in Saxony

An election worker places ballot papers on a pile to count the postal votes for the European elections / Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa
An election worker places ballot papers on a pile to count the postal votes for the European elections / Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa

AfD wins with 37.9% of the vote in Saxony. CDU and BSW in second place. Greens disappoint with 2.7%.

In the European elections in Saxony, everything points to a clear victory for the AfD. Shortly before 10 p.m., the party had 37.9 percent of the vote, a significant increase compared to 2019 (25.3 percent). Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer's CDU came a distant second with 23.9%, slightly more than five years ago (23.0%). The third party to reach double figures was a newcomer on the ballot paper: the Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance (BSW) with 13.0%.

AfD state leader Jörg Urban was already very satisfied with his party's performance in the early evening. "We have become the second strongest party in Germany," he said on Sunday evening. He is extremely pleased about this. "It is also good that the eco-socialists of the Greens have fallen dramatically." Anna Cavazzini, the leading Green candidate in Saxony, stated that her party could not be satisfied with the result. "We have clearly fallen short of our potential." She added that it was now necessary to analyze how her party could make greater inroads with its issues again in the future.

In the state election director's breakdown, you first have to look for the Greens' result - they are initially listed under Others. In the interim results, they achieved 2.7 percent (2019: 10.3 percent). The chancellor's party SPD only achieved 5.4 percent (8.6) in Saxony, the Left Party 3.4 (11.7) and the Free Voters 2.9 (2.9).

By then, 322 of 418 municipalities in Saxony had been counted - around 40 percent of those eligible to vote. The results for the three major cities of Chemnitz, Dresden and Leipzig were not yet included.

He could not be satisfied with the result for his SPD, said Saxony's leading candidate Matthias Ecke after the first nationwide projections. Ecke was attacked during the election campaign in Dresden and beaten until he was ready for hospitalization. "It was the toughest election campaign we have ever experienced - with verbal and physical attacks. This is a challenge for democracy. We have to take this seriously and work through it so that we learn the right lessons for the future."

Ecke was also pleased about his foreseeable re-entry into the European Parliament and the increased voter turnout. He took a differentiated view of the AfD's nationwide result. The AfD had remained well below the interim poll figures, but had made gains. It is now up to the other parties to develop appropriate strategies to counter this: "However, we also see that the growth of the AfD has limits."

The BSW sees its course confirmed by the good results. The fact that a party can achieve a national average of over five percent from a standing start is unique, said Sabine Zimmermann, head of the BSW in Saxony, to the German Press Agency in Dresden. "If you consider that the Sahra Wagenknecht alliance has only existed since January, it is clear that we are completely shaking up the German party landscape. There were obviously broad policy areas that were no longer covered by the previous parties."

Zimmermann sees the result as an "enormous boost" for the state elections on September 1: "This makes it clear to us that the state elections on September 1, 2024 will be completely different than five years ago. Back then, many people no longer knew which party to vote for."

Around 3.3 million people were called to cast their vote in Saxony on Sunday. Not only the new European Parliament was elected, but also the local representatives. In the European Parliament elections, 16-year-olds were already allowed to vote.

Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). All rights reserved

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