Free Democrats pin hopes of survival on new leader
Monday 12 June 1995
"Adieu FDP!" said the main headline in Die Woche. The logo for the reports on German television news, too, suggested that time was running out: the FDP was depicted as sand running through an hourglass.
The party elected itself a new leader to replace the Foreign Minister, Klaus Kinkel, who finally threw in the towel after a succession of electoral defeats. But it is unclear whether Wolfgang Gerhardt, 51, can do any better than his predecessor and former boss.
Mr Gerhardt represents reliability and dependability, but charisma is not seen as his strong suit. Jurgen Mollemann, his challenger for the leadership - generally seen within the party as a troublemaker - gained a third of the delegates' votes, not least because he seemed to offer an energetic alternative. Even though Mr Gerhardt was seen as the party's last hope, he gained only 57 per cent - less than any of his recent predecessors.
The party has failed to gain a parliamentary seat in all but one of 12 regional elections in the past two years. Recent success by the Greens has magnified the FDP's difficulties. Further regional elections are scheduled, and may bring more disappointments. Berlin goes to the polls in the autumn, and the FDP's chances do not look good. The latest national polls suggest that the majority of voters believe that "the FDP is no longer necessary".
- 1 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 2 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 4 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 5 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGH VALUE REAL ESTATE / RESID...
£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Are you looking for part time/ ...