Two German states held elections yesterday and parties of both the traditional and populist right gained significant ground while parties of the left lost seats and vote share. In Germany's largest state, Bavaria, parties of the right finished in first, second, and third place, while in economic powerhouse Hesse, they finished in first and second place. Both traditional and populist conservatives criticized the center-left government on illegal immigration and "green" policy.
In Hesse, the traditional conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) increased its vote share from 27% to 34.6%, coming in first place, while the populist nationalist anti-immigration right Alternativ fur Deutschland (AfD) came in second with 18.4%,, up from 13.1% in the last election. The conservative Free Voters received 3.5%, up from 2% in the last election, but failed to reach the 5% threshold to win seats. The parties of the center left national coalition government, the Social Democrats, Greens, and Free Democrats all lost vote share and seats. A recount will be necessary to determine if the Free Democrats even qualify for any seats.
In Bavaria, the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), a national partner of the CDU, but to the right of the CDU, retained its first place position and vote share with 37%. Its current coalition partner, the very conservative Free Voters, came in second with 15.8%, up from 11.6% in the last election. The AfD was in third place with 14.6%, up from 10.2% in the last election. The three parties in the national coalition government all lost vote share and seats, with the Free Democrats losing all of their seats.
The far left Left Party lost all of its seats in Hesse and failed to win any in Bavaria, where it has never had any.
At a rally a week before the election, the AfD co-leader in Bavaria was attacked with a syringe by two young males which caused him to collapse and be taken to intensive care, but he is apparently okay.
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