Update 01/09/2014 19:18 CET: The opinion poll presented at the Plenum link below just seems to be too wrong. To me it appears to be a national poll, and not of Saxony. The Plenum story does not specify exactly the region the poll was taken.
Germany’s version of the UKIP Party in the UK is the so-called Alternativ für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany), or AfD Party.
The AfD party has been very critical of euro, green-energies, and mega bailouts. Some its members have expressed doubts on climate science. Disenchanted voters view the AfD as the alternative to what they see as entrenched arrogance that has long pervaded over the other established parties; CDU, SPD, Greens, Links (Communist), and FDP.
Yesterday state elections were held in the German eastern state of Saxony with results showing the AfD party taking in 10% of the vote. The unexpectedly high result for the AfD took many pollsters by surprise.
CDU (conservatives) 39.4%
SPD (socialists): 12.4%
Links (communists): 18.9%
AfD (alternative): 9.7%
Just a week before yesterday’s election, some opinion surveys by polling institutes were showing the AfD struggling to reach the 5% hurdle, which is necessary for a party to take seats in parliament.
For example on August 20 a survey commissioned by Stern-RTL showed the AfD barely at the critical 5% mark, the SPD social democrats all the way at 24%, and the German environmentalist Greens even at 10%. The Plenum site actually does not specify exactly the region the poll was taken – only mentioning that it was done in the run-up to the Saxony election. The figures seem to reflect the national sentiment.
The online Fulda info here presents the results of a national survey by renowned polling institute Emnid conducted about 10 days ago, commissioned by flagship daily Bild am Sonntag. It showed the AfD as a marginal party at only 4%!
Needless to say, the media reaction was one of shock and awe, and indicates that both the established parties and media do not have their finger on the pulse of public sentiment. The opinion survey seem to more reflect the wishes of the establishment, and not the reality.
Repeated, widespread campaigns had been launched by the established parties and the media in attempt to portray the critical AfD as a fringe, right-wing party. The 10% result shows, however, that the attempts failed and that the AfD voters think very little of the shenanigans.
In the Saxony elections the newly minted AfD soared past a number of parties and picked up 10% of the vote, surprising pollsters and the sending a sharp signal to the established parties that the days of political consensus on major issues such as the euro, the role of the EU, mega-bailouts, and renewable energy may be coming to an end.
With war breaking out to the east and south of Europe, the European economy struggling, energy prices spiraling out of control, citizens are demanding that their wishes be taken seriously.