The German Greens have reason to celebrate the results that, for the moment, are giving the vote count, despite the fact that in recent months they have been deflated in the polls. Because if in 2017 they obtained 8.9% of the votes, in this Sunday’s elections they placed around 14.1%, 5.2 points and about half more support, which would make them the third political force in the country, in the party that grows the most in support and a key piece in the puzzle for the formation of the next government, which will be the first without Chancellor Angela Merkel in 16 years.
While it is true that in recent months his candidacy had been losing support, as different polls showed, this Sunday is the best result for Los Verdes since the beginning of the Merkel era in 2005. His candidate Annalena Baerbock has praised the performance of the party and has described the result as “the best” in its history.
However, last May the polls placed Los Verdes as the first political force with 25% support, a quota in which the conservatives of the CDU and the Social Democrats of the SPD move today. At that time, the party’s leader, Annalena Baerbock, was the highest valued candidate and many already placed her at the head of the chancellery. “We wanted more … but the party was wrong. I made mistakes,” acknowledged Baerbock after the first estimates were known, who has promised to “continue fighting” because the country “needs a government for the climate.”
Since that brief lead in the polls just four months ago, Baerbock’s campaign has been marred by accusations of including inaccuracies on his official resume, delaying paying taxes on extra Christmas pay, on filing income at Parliament, to plagiarize parts of his new book and to use a racist slur in an interview. Some facts that, together with disinformation campaigns that collects the NGO Avaaz in a report, have weighed down the options of Los Verdes to a better result.
However, this 14.1% that the count gives – in 2017 at the same time they were around 9% – would allow the party to be key in the formation of a new government in negotiations that can drag on for months. And another fact: The Greens are the force with the most support among those under 30 years of age, with 22% of the votes, which shows the preferences of the new generations in the country.
The rise of the Greens in recent years is undeniable both in Germany and in other countries of the European Union. Already in May, the political risk analyst at Teneo Luis Cornago explained in this information that “there has been a political realignment in which new issues have emerged. The left-right axis is no longer the only one and there is a new sociocultural axis. postmaterialist. This axis makes a part of the electorate more likely to vote for issues such as gender equality, minorities, conciliation, environment … “.
The latest survey by the Forschungsgruppe Wahlen company, published on September 17, which collect The World Order, places climate change and the energy transition as the first concern for 47% of Germans, even ahead of the coronavirus (28%) and far behind immigration (13%), social inequality (12%).
The green wave was especially noticeable in Europe in 2019. That was the year of the Climate Summit held in Spain and also in which the young activist Greta Thunberg was named person of the year by the American Times magazine. This wave, which was also noticed in Germany, has been reinforced in the last two months in that country by the great floods that occurred mainly in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate due to the storm.
This catastrophe placed the climate crisis at the center of the electoral campaign, both because of the rainfall records that were broken in those days and because of the catastrophic event that left more than 150 dead, tens of thousands of homes flooded and that caused the interruption power supply. Something that alerted scientists to fear that man-made disturbances are making extreme weather episodes even worse than expected.