Schroder's party hits new depths of unpopularity
Monday 20 September 1999
To put that figure into perspective, the ex-Communist Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) scored above 20 per cent. A week ago, when the PDS narrowly overtook the Social Democrats in Thuringia, another eastern region, the event was seen as a sensation, a historic first. Yesterday, Mr Schroder's party was not even in the race for second place.
Saxony was always going to be difficult. The Christian Democrats, lead by "King" Kurt Biedenkopf, a popular heavyweight from the West, had won 58.1 per cent of the votes five years ago. Mr Biedenkopf improved on that triumph only by 2 per cent this time. Disaffected Social Democrat voters, about one-third of the total last time round, switched largely to the ex-Communists. Turn-out was high, robbing Mr Schroder of his usual excuse about stay-away voters.
The crisis will now deepen in his party, just as storms are about to engulf his coalition partners, the Greens. They keep providing new definitions for the word "marginal". Last time around, the Greens scored 4 per cent in Saxony. Yesterday, they got half that, matching the percentage of the far-right Republicans.
The Greens in Saxony were led by Gunda Rostel, a rare East German of prominence in the national party. Ms Rostel is the party's co-leader, but probably not for long.
Joschka Fischer, the Foreign Minister, and the real power among the Greens even if he has no direct role in the party apparatus, is preparing a coup against Ms Rostel and the other co-leader, Antje Radcke. He blames them for the party's amateurism and abysmal performances, and now wants to gain control.
The Green party executive is due to meet today to discuss the proposals, which are certain to trigger another wave of political blood-letting. At least the spectacle will take the heat off Chancellor Schroder for a little while. And there are no further regional elections scheduled until next month.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£24,000 per annum pro rata (21 hours per week): Belong: Work as part of a cutt...
£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Are you looking for work in Ed...
£3000 - £30000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to wor...
£83 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Are you looking for work in Ed...