Regional elections in Schleswig-Holstein: candidates, polls, coalitions

Clashes in Schleswig-Holstein: CDU politician Daniel Günther wants to remain Prime Minister and would like to continue the coalition, but other models could also be possible in the regional elections.

After Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein is the second of the four federal states in which regional elections will take place this year. Next come North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony.

The CDU is under pressure after the election debacle in Saarland. A bankruptcy of Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU) would aggravate the situation of the new party leader Friedrich Merz. But what are Günther’s chances? And what else do you need to know about elections? An overview.

When is the election?

The regional elections in Schleswig-Holstein will take place on Sunday, May 8, 2022. Those eligible to vote can vote on this day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Postal voting is also possible.

Who is allowed to go to the polls?

Germans aged 16 or over have the right to vote. Another condition is that the persons have had their main residence in Schleswig-Holstein for at least six weeks. In addition, they must not be prevented from voting by a court and must be registered on the electoral list of their municipality of residence.

How is the election going?

There are 35 constituencies in Schleswig-Holstein, each with a similar population. In total, nearly 2.9 million people live in the federal state.

Each voter has two votes. Constituency candidates are elected on the first vote, the second vote is cast for a party’s national list. The latter is decisive for the distribution of seats in the parliament of the Land of Kiel.

How did the 2017 municipal elections go?

In the 2017 regional elections in Germany’s northernmost state, the CDU (32%) came out on top as the strongest party. They were followed by the SPD (27.3%), the Greens (12.9%), the FDP (11.5%) and the AfD (5.9%). Voter turnout in May 2017 was 64%.

Who are the best candidates?

Daniel Gunther (CDU): Günther has been a member of the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament since 2009 and prime minister since 2017. The 48-year-old hopes for a continuation of the Jamaican coalition. Above all, it promises better support for students, for example the digitization of schools should be promoted and IT should become a compulsory subject. He also wants to make Schleswig-Holstein the first climate-neutral industrial state and invest in the expansion of local public transport.

Thomas Losse-Müller (SPD): The SPD man, born in the Ruhr area, could be condemned by his little acquaintance. Only a quarter of voters know Losse-Müller. He wants to pursue goals similar to those of his competitor Günther, such as more climate protection and digitalization in schools. In addition, the SPD would like to abolish childcare costs in Schleswig-Holstein, which Prime Minister Günther considers “unaffordable”. A brake on the rental price is also to be put in place.

Monika Heinold (The Greens): Of course, the Minister of Finance and her party are primarily concerned with the issue of climate protection. The goal: climate neutrality by 2035. To achieve this, more wind turbines must be built and new buildings must be equipped with a solar system.

Bernd Buchholz (FDP): The FDP has set itself an ambitious goal and wants to increase its share of the vote from 11.5% to 15%. The FDP also promises more investment in education, but also an industry support program. Also, more offshore wind farms need to be built on water.

What do the survey results say?

The CDU with country leader Günther is again the favorite in the election campaign. According to a poll carried out last week by the Infratest dimap institute on behalf of NDR, the Christian Democrats obtained the votes of 38% of those questioned. This is two percentage points more than in the previous March 31 survey.

According to the poll, the SPD remains unchanged at 20%, the Greens lose two percentage points to 16%. Nine percent of rights holders opt for the FDP, an increase of one percentage point. Six percent of respondents still vote for the AfD.

Those eligible to vote continue to favor a CDU-led state government. Three-quarters of respondents are satisfied with the work of the previous cabinet. This encouragement goes hand in hand with the popularity of Prime Minister Daniel Günther. 76% of those eligible to vote are satisfied or very satisfied with their work (plus two percentage points). This makes Günther the most popular prime minister in the national Infratest comparison.

What coalitions would be possible?

According to the latest survey, the CDU could theoretically continue Jamaica, but it could also continue to govern with a single partner. An alliance with the Greens would have a safe majority. Similarly, a black-yellow coalition would not be excluded. A government led by the SPD, on the other hand, would depend on the alliance partners, the Greens, the SSW and the FDP.

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