Germany's liberal Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP) has narrowly voted to remain in the country's ruling Federal coalition. (EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN)


Liberals narrowly vote to remain in German coalition


Germany’s liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) has narrowly voted to remain in the country’s ruling federal coalition.

Just over 52 per cent of those who took part in the non-binding poll endorsed remaining in the Government, with the party having seen its overall support collapse since entering office in 2021.

Despite the marginal nature of the victory, party secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai argued that the vote showed an “overwhelming” number within the FDP do want to remain in the Government.

“Never before have so many party members taken part in the FDP’s internal opinion-forming process,” he said.

“The survey made it clear: The FDP wants to take responsibility for and shape our country.

“The result strengthens us in overcoming the enormous challenges facing the country,” he added.

Although technically non-binding, the vote was seen by some analysts as a must-win for the administration of Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The most junior partner of the three-party coalition, the FDP has taken a hammering in the polls, being outstripped by right-wing groups such as the Free Voters and the populist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

The collapse in support has already had dire results for the FDP. The group did not retain any representatives in the Bavarian Parliament last October after failing to hit the 5 per cent threshold.

Things are also looking grim for the forthcoming European elections in June. Polls suggest the FDP will pull in around only around 5.3 per cent of the total votes.

By contrast, the AfD has seen its support surge to new highs, the most recent being its best result in a poll – of 37 per cent in Saxony.

Many on the Left are now calling for the party to be banned in certain States, arguing that its right-wing politics represent a threat to democracy.