Election campaign posters show Alternative for Germany (AfD) candidate for the office of mayor Henning Dornack (R) and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) candidate Armin Schenk (L) in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany 30 September 2023 (issued 01 October 2023). EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN


AfD’s voter support soars in Saxony poll


A new survey puts Germany’s right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party well ahead of its competitors, polling at 37 per cent.

Where previous polls showed AfD neck-and-neck with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a different picture seems apparent now.

The poll was conducted online across Saxony by the Insa institute between December 18 and January 1 for the news portal Sächsische Zeitung.

The results showed AfD up four percentage points, while the CDU is stagnant and all other parties reduced to also-rans.

The Socialists and Liberals would not even pass the electoral threshold of 5 per cent – at 3 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively.

The far-left Die Linkse scored 8 per cent and the Greens would have 7 per cent of the vote, according to the survey.

The high AfD score is on par with similar polls recently in the former East Germany, where the party comfortably garners in excess of 30 per cent in several states.

Saxony’s state elections will take place in just under eight months, on September 1 and such votes are also due in Thuringia and Brandenburg the same month.

If the latest poll results are reflected in actual voter turnout, it would see the Socialists forced out of the State Parliament in Saxony for the first time since the Second World War.

The current governing majority there is made up of the CDU, Socialists and Greens. Under the latest poll, a new coalition of the same parties would likely not have a majority.

The CDU refuses to work with the AfD, labelling the party “far-right”, which means the CDU would have to work together with Die Linke, a hard-left party, and the Greens.

In related news, a YouGov national survey commissioned by the German Press Agency (dpa) indicates 53 per cent of Germans expect the AfD to win an absolute majority in at least one of the three state elections in Eastern Germany this year, meaning an AfD state prime minister would be installed.

At the moment, all other parties represented in the three state parliaments are against forming partnerships with the AfD. As things stand, the AfD’s ability to form a state government is dependent upon obtaining an absolute majority of parliamentary seats.

Some 42 per cent of people surveyed said they believed other political groups would end up working with the AfD party.

As well as the state elections, local municipal elections are scheduled to take place in all Eastern German states, save Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, on June 9, coinciding with the European elections.

The AfD already carries some clout at the municipal level. In Saxony-Anhalt, an AfD politician was elected mayor for a full term for the first time last year.

On December 18, the AfD won its first mayoral election, with Tim Lochner becoming Mayor of Pirna in Saxony.

In addition, the AfD has held the position of district administrator in Sonneberg, a southern Thuringian district, for around six months.