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“In the center now the country”: FDP leader Lindner has to declare losses again

“In the center now the country”
FDP boss Lindner has to declare losses again

It’s almost becoming routine: interpreting a bad result the day after a state election – and why it’s mainly due to state politics. After all, FDP boss Lindner also sees a “federal political component” in the NRW election result and announces a reappraisal. This could be short.

It is a bitter day for the FDP. After the disastrous election result in North Rhine-Westphalia, their leaders have to explain again why significantly fewer voters have crossed the Liberals. Party leader Christian Lindner emphasized in the Hans-Dietrich-Genscher-Haus in Berlin above all the “national political component”. According to Lindner, there was dissatisfaction in school politics in particular. The FDP had not succeeded in working out their share of government policy.

At the same time, Lindner stated that it was clear to everyone that the good 2017 election result in NRW was unsustainable. At that time it was an early federal election and he started as the top candidate. In the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia five years ago, the FDP won 12.6 percent, but this time they came in at less than half with 5.9 percent. A joint government with the CDU is therefore no longer possible.

The FDP top candidate from North Rhine-Westphalia, Joachim Stamp, seconded his party leader and also explained the drop of 6.7 percentage points with state politics. He conceded “communication errors” in education policy that would have hit the nail on the head. FDP party colleague Yvonne Gebauer took over the ministry in 2017.

The successes of the government’s balance sheet were “collected” to a large extent by the coalition partner, said Stamp, who is also Deputy Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition, the FDP was not able to mobilize the voters. According to Stamp, he is responsible for this. At the same time he announced a reappraisal process. Stamp once again made it clear what the future government in Düsseldorf would look like: “We will now have a black-green coalition in North Rhine-Westphalia.” The CDU is ready to sacrifice a lot of content for this.

“Dramatic slump” among older voters

Despite all state politics, Lindner also acknowledged a responsibility of federal politics. The fact that there was “a dramatic slump” among older voters has something to do with federal politics in NRW. During the election campaign, older people had repeatedly shown themselves to be dissatisfied with the energy price flat rate of the traffic light government in Berlin. However, Lindner attaches importance to this not being an initiative of the Free Democrats. Nevertheless, the local party friends were repeatedly told: “Why isn’t there an energy price flat rate for pensioners? Why were we forgotten?” The energy price flat rate is part of the federal government’s relief package and amounts to 300 euros for all income taxpayers.

Here the FDP was not able to communicate, so Lindner. She must also draw conclusions from this for future projects in the coalition in Berlin, the FDP is interested in “working through her defeat”. How exactly this should look like was left open by Lindner. At the same time, he stated that his party was now concentrating primarily on leading Germany. “The focus is now on the country and not small or large gains in territory by the FDP.”

In the state elections in Schleswig-Holstein a week ago, the FDP also had to accept massive losses and got just 6.4 percent. It was the worst result for the Liberals in the state in more than two decades. In Saarland, the Liberals narrowly missed the five percent hurdle at the end of March.

At the table with Olaf Scholz

Today, Monday, the Federal Chancellor is answering questions from citizens: Um 10:15 p.m shows RTL “RTL Direct Special” with Olaf Scholz. Moderated by Pinar Atalay, four guests present their concerns and demands to the Chancellor: a single mother who is dependent on Hartz IV because of a long-term illness; a shift foreman at the blast furnace who worries about the Eisenhüttenstadt site; a Ukrainian who has been living in Germany for 16 years and is afraid for her parents; an insurance broker who says the middle class is being milked too much.

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