The SPD aims to repeat the victory and continue to rule in Lower Saxony

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The SPD aims to repeat the victory and continue to rule in Lower Saxony

Polls predict tomorrow’s federal election will see a coalition executive of Social Democrats and Greens

The energy crisis and the rising cost of living due to high inflation have centered on the election campaign for tomorrow’s parliamentary elections in the German state of Lower Saxony. These are national issues that have occupied the public since the outbreak of war and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The problems of the North German region have practically disinterested local voters in the last elections of the year to be held in this country, which are considered a barometer to measure the popularity of the governing coalition led by the Chancellor in Berlin. , the social democrat Olaf Scholz, along with his green and liberal partners.

The polls are in their favour. Everyone is predicting a victory for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and its candidate, the current Prime Minister of Germany’s second largest region after Bavaria, Stephan Weil, who has been in power for eight years and is aiming for another term. to repeat. The most recent poll prepared for the weekly ‘Der Spiegel’ by the Civey Institute gives the SPD 33% of the vote, while the conservatives of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) would get 27%, the Greens 17% , the ultranationalists of Alternative for Germany (AfD) 10%, the Liberals (FDP) 5% and The Left only 4%, who would leave it out of the regional chamber in Hanover by not crossing the 5% threshold. The liberals, in turn, are on the tightrope and could be excluded from that parliament.

If these results are confirmed, the grand coalition of Social Democrats and Christian Democrats that currently rules the state, the headquarters of major industries such as the Volkswagen car consortium, would have come to an end. Weil and the SPD have announced in advance that it is in their interest to negotiate a new alliance with the ecologists and, if their support is needed, also with the liberals to reiterate the tripartite guiding the country’s plans from Berlin. With a population engulfed by energy problems and rising prices, Weil manages to present himself as an expert crisis manager with a privileged direct line to the Federal Chancellor.

Weil wants to make Lower Saxony Germany’s energy hub, even if he has been forced to give up positions he previously defended. Since, in addition to promoting the construction of solar power plants and wind farms, on the North Sea coast not only terminals for the reception of liquefied gas by sea are being built at a forced pace, but also the possibility of extracting gas from under the seabed. With regard to easing citizens from the growing energy burden, Weil has proposed a regional aid program worth EUR 970 million that will be financed from the surplus of tax revenues and which will complement the program announced by the federal government.

To counter the energy crisis, his main electoral rival, the conservative Bernd Althusmann, is even in favor of keeping the last nuclear power plant in the region in operation, which is expected to be shut down by the end of the year. The duel between Althusmann and Weil already took place in the previous elections of 2017. If Weil is victorious again, it could surpass the record of more than 14 years of government in Lower Saxony of Hans Albrecht, father of the current president of the European Commission Ursula van der Leyen. The current prime minister is clearly gaining popularity over his conservative rival, perhaps because of his calm and conciliatory presence, as well as his long experience in government.

From Berlin, the Social Democrats’ headquarters is observing the evolution of the elections in Lower Saxony with a noticeable easing and the certainty of an announced victory. No one has the idea to think aloud about a possible defeat. If it happens, the shock will no doubt be felt in the German capital, where there is some frustration with the SPD over the formation’s loss of popularity in national-level polls. But just as dangerous for peace in the tripartite ruling the country would be a failure of the FDP and a possible exit from the Hanover parliament. This would increase the danger of a confrontation between Greens and Liberals within the coalition, especially if the energy crisis worsens in the winter and an agreement has to be reached to take new measures to relieve the burden on citizens.

Source: La Verdad

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