The Social Democrats outdid their competitors in the recent general election, losing slightly less than expected — less than 5 percent in both the election itself and the subsequent confidence vote in the SPD government — but ending up with 62.4 percent of the vote.
Fewer than 14 percent of the voters bothered to decide where they’d cast their ballots, a record low for the post-war period.
But given that hardly any ink is left, it’s clear now what the real winners of the election are.
Right-wing, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) — which surged to 16.5 percent in just two years — was the single biggest loser of the election, seeing its support slump to 7.7 percent.
By contrast, the Democratic Party in Germany (DPG), which held the ruling coalition in a Grand Coalition and had nine months in power under Chancellor Angela Merkel, lost 24.3 percent of its support compared to 2014’s election. In the esteem of the party, “Cabaret” Der Spiegel editorialized about it this way: “The media now isn’t even sure they have a leadership.”
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Conversely, the new AfD party leader Alexander Gauland was perhaps the third biggest loser of the election, with his party losing 17.5 percent of its support. But at least it didn’t lose more than 20 percent.