> An exit poll from Bavaria's state election Sunday shows the ruling Christian Social Union has lost its majority, in a humiliating performance that is likely to rattle German Chancellor Angela Merkel's fragile coalition government.
> The Christian Social Union (CSU), a conservative sister party to Merkel's Christian Democrat Union (CDU), has dominated Bavarian politics since the end of World War II, ruling the key state for all but three years of the past seven decades.
> An exit poll reported by state broadcaster ARD show the CSU with just 35.5% of the vote and the pro-immigration environmentalist Greens in second place with 18.5%, a major gain of almost 10 percentage points.
> The far-right anti-immigration Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) is forecast to win 11% of the vote, the poll shows. If confirmed, the party will win seats in the Bavarian parliament.
> With a drop in support for her allies and more tumult in store for her coalition, Merkel, now serving her fourth term, could find herself fighting to keep her job as party chair when the CDU holds its annual congress in December.
> Analysts had said a poor performance in Bavaria may more immediately force Minister of Interior and CSU party leader Horst Seehofer to resign.
Bavaria Exit Poll Percentages
Results By Gender
SPD Crashes to Fifth Place
I commented yesterday that SPD, Merkel's coalition partner at the national level might crash to fifth place.
That's how the exit polls have it right now.
To enter the Landtag, the Bavarian Parliament, the parties need to win at least five percent of the total number of valid votes, a hurdle that also applies to the German federal Parliament.
Linke (far left) will not make the cut. FDP is on the bubble.
Messy Coalition Possibilities
- CSU and AfD are anti-immigration but the Greens are pro-immigration.
- CSU plus SPD does not top 50%.
- CSU has ruled out any coalition with AfD.
- CSU's preferred partner is likely FDP, but FDP might not make the 5% threshold. Besides CSU plus FDP will not come close to 50%.
Three-Way Mess (See Revision Addendum Below)
- CSU + SPD + FW
- CSU + SPD + FDP (assuming FDP makes the cut and the 50% threshold is hit)
- CSU + FW + FDP (assuming FDP makes the cut and the 50% threshold is hit)
What to Expect? Anything
I commented yesterday that a poor result for CSU could lead to CSU resignations at the national level or even a collapse of Merkel's government.
She would welcome the resignations, but not a total government collapse.
Increased polarization is apparent. CSU lost voters to the far left (Greens) and far right (AfD).
FDP might not even make the cut and support for SPD outright collapsed.
There is no CDU/CSU Union to speak of. Germany has splintered.
A reader points out I incorrectly used percentages instead of expected seats.
> Your coalition math does not work out as you use percentages instead of seats. Because of the particularities of the German voting system, it's better to use seats for coalitions etc. The Bavarian parliament has 192 seats, so 97 is a majority. As of right now, the CSU has 78, the FW 25, giving them a majority (SPD 20, Greens 37, AfD 22, FDP 10).
There are more coalition possibilities than I pointed out above.
Another reader suggested this was a big defeat for AfD. It might seem that way, but support for AfD would have been far greater if CSU did not take similar positions on immigration.
Not only will AfD be in the Bavarian parliament, CSU adopted similar positions on immigration.
Germany has splintered.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock