Next Thuringian state election

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Next Thuringian state election

← 2019 No later than August–December 2024

All 88 seats in the Landtag of Thuringia including any overhang seats
45+ seats needed for a majority
  2019-10-27 Wahlabend Thüringen by Sandro Halank–57.jpg 2019-10-27 Wahlabend Thüringen by Sandro Halank–88.jpg
Stefan Möller (2018 im Landtag).jpg
Hirte, Christian-0221.jpg
Leader Bodo Ramelow Björn Höcke &
Stefan Möller
Christian Hirte
Party Left AfD CDU
Leader's seat Erfurt III List
List
Last election 29 seats, 31.0% 22 seats, 23.4% 21 seats, 21.7%

 
2020-03-04 Thüringer Landtag, erneute Wahl des Ministerpräsidenten 1DX 2752 by Stepro.jpg
2020-02-05 Thüringer Landtag, Wahl des Ministerpräsidenten 1DX 2723 by Stepro.jpg
Leader Georg Maier Ann-Sophie Bohm-Eisenbrandt
& Bernhard Stengele
Thomas Kemmerich
Party SPD Green FDP
Leader's seat [a]
List
Last election 8 seats, 8.2% 5 seats, 5.2% 5 seats, 5.0%

Incumbent Government

Second Ramelow cabinet
LeftSPDGreen



The next Thuringian state election will be held no later than between August and December 2024 to elect the 8th Landtag of Thuringia. The current government is a minority government consisting of The Left, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), and The Greens, led by Minister President Bodo Ramelow of The Left.

As a result of the 2020 Thuringian government crisis, there was a cross-party agreement to hold an early Landtag election on 25 April 2021.[1] In January 2021, the parties involved agreed to postpone the election to 26 September due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany.[2] All plans for a snap election were later shelved when it became clear there were not sufficient votes to dissolve the Landtag.[3]

Election date[edit]

According to § 18 of the Thuringian Electoral Law for the Landtag,[4] the Landtag election must take place on a Sunday or public holiday at the earliest 57 months after the beginning of the current parliamentary term on 5 February 2020 and at the latest 61 months after, i.e. at the earliest in August 2024 and at the latest December 2024.[5]

According to the Thuringian Constitution, an early election may be held if, at the request of one-third of its members, the Landtag votes with a two-thirds majority to dissolve itself. This may also occur if the Landtag does not vote confidence in a Minister President within three weeks of a failed vote of confidence in the incumbent. The motion to dissolve the Landtag may only be voted on between the eleven and thirty days after its submission. If passed, the election must then take place within 70 days.

On 21 February 2020, The Left, CDU, SPD, and Greens came to an agreement to schedule a new election for 25 April 2021.[1] On 14 January 2021, the four parties agreed to postpone the election to 26 September 2021, the same date as the upcoming federal election.[2]

The vote to dissolve the Landtag was scheduled for 19 July. However, the motion was withdrawn on 16 July after four CDU and two Left members informed party leaders they would vote against it, leaving it clearly short of the required two-thirds majority. Left parliamentary leader Stefan Dittes announced there would not be another effort to dissolve the Landtag, and the red-red-green minority government would continue.[3][6]

Background[edit]

Previous election[edit]

In the previous state election held on 27 October 2019, The Left became the largest party for the first time in any German state, winning 31.0% of votes cast. The Alternative for Germany (AfD) made the largest gains, increasing its voteshare by almost 13 percentage points and became the second largest party with 23.4%. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which had previously been the largest party in the Landtag, lost almost 12 points and fell to third place with 21.7%. The Social Democratic Party (SPD) placed fourth on 8.2%. The Greens narrowly retained their position in the legislature, winning 5.2% of votes. The Free Democratic (FDP) entered the Landtag for the first time since 2009, exceeding the 5% electoral threshold by just 73 votes.[7]

Incumbent Minister President Bodo Ramelow of The Left had led a coalition government of The Left, SPD, and Greens since 2014. The Left's gains were offset by losses for the SPD and Greens, and the coalition lost its majority.

Government crisis[edit]

On 5 February, the Landtag narrowly elected the FDP's state leader Thomas Kemmerich as Minister President, with 45 votes to incumbent Bodo Ramelow's 44. Kemmerich was elected with the support of the FDP, CDU and, controversially, the AfD. This was the first time AfD had been involved in the election of a head of state government in Germany. The apparent cooperation of the three parties was viewed by some as breaking the cordon sanitaire around AfD which had been in place since its formation, in which all other parties sought to deny AfD government or political influence, refusing to negotiate or work with them on any level. This sparked major controversy nationwide, with many politicians expressing their outrage, including federal Chancellor and former CDU leader Angela Merkel, eho described it as "unforgivable" and condemned her party's involvement.[8][9] Kemmerich announced his pending resignation on 6 February, just a day after taking office. He submitted his resignation 8 February, but remained in office in an interim capacity.[10]

Following discussions, The Left, CDU, SPD, and Greens announced on 21 February that they had reached an agreement to hold a new election for Minister President on 4 March 2020, and a new state election on 25 April 2021. The four parties stated that they would support Ramelow for Minister President, and that he would lead an interim government for the next 13 months until the election is held. This government would comprise the same red-red-green arrangement which governed Thuringia from 2014 to February 2020 but would not seek to pass a budget before the election.[1] Between them, the four parties hold 63 of the 90 seats in the Landtag (70%), more than the two-thirds required to dissolve the Landtag and trigger an early election. Ramelow was elected Minister President by the Landtag after three rounds of voting on 4 March. In the first two rounds, The Left, SPD, and Greens voted for Ramelow, while AfD voted for Höcke, the CDU abstained, and the FDP did not vote or abstain. In the third round, Höcke withdrew, and Ramelow was elected with 43 in favour, 23 against, and 20 abstentions.[11]

Parties[edit]

The table below lists parties currently represented in the 7th Landtag of Thuringia.

Name Ideology Leader(s) 2019 result
Votes (%) Seats
Linke The Left
Die Linke
Democratic socialism Heike Werner
Steffen Dittes
31.0%
29 / 90
AfD Alternative for Germany
Alternative für Deutschland
Right-wing populism Björn Höcke
Stefan Möller
23.4%
22 / 90
CDU Christian Democratic Union of Germany
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands
Christian democracy Christian Hirte 21.3%
21 / 90
SPD Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands
Social democracy Georg Maier 8.2%
8 / 90
Grüne Alliance 90/The Greens
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Green politics Ann-Sophie Bohm-Eisenbrandt
Bernhard Stengele
5.2%
5 / 90
FDP Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei
Classical liberalism Thomas Kemmerich 5.0%
5 / 90

Campaign[edit]

Lead candidates[edit]

On 15 June 2020, the SPD elected Georg Maier as state chairman and lead candidate for the planned 2021 election. This came after previous leader Wolfgang Tiefensee resigned his position.[12]

In September 2020, former Federal Commissioner for the New States Christian Hirte was elected as state CDU chairman, succeeding Mike Mohring, who had resigned during the government crisis in February.[13] On 17 November, the state executive nominated parliamentary group leader Mario Voigt as their preferred lead candidate.[14]

After extended pressure from the federal FDP as well as other state branches, Thomas Kemmerich announced on 11 December that he would not stand as his party's lead candidate in the planned 2021 election.[15]

Opinion polls[edit]

Party polling[edit]

Graph of opinion poll results, trendlines are local regressions (LOESS)

Polling firm Fieldwork date Sample
size
Linke AfD CDU SPD Grüne FDP Others Lead
INSA 4–11 Jul 2022 1,019 24 24 20 13 8 5 6 Tie
Wahlkreisprognose 7–15 Jun 2022 1,031 24 26 16 14 7 5 8 2
Wahlkreisprognose 23–30 May 2022 1,000 24 23 18 16 7 4 8 1
Wahlkreisprognose 6–14 Apr 2022 994 20 21 19 20 5 8 7 1
INSA 4–11 Apr 2022 1,027 24 22 20 16 7 5 6 2
INSA 1 Mar 2022 1,000 25 23 19 16 6 6 5 2
Infratest dimap 17–22 Feb 2022 1,158 23 24 19 15 5 7 7 1
INSA 24–30 Nov 2021 1,000 24 23 15 18 7 7 6 1
INSA 29 Sep–4 Oct 2021 1,074 20 24 15 21 7 8 5 3
2021 federal election 26 Sep 2021 11.4 24.0 16.9 23.4 6.6 9.0 8.7 0.6
Infratest dimap 20–23 Jul 2021 1,162 27 22 21 11 6 6 7 5
INSA 9–15 Jul 2021 1,006 27 22 21 9 7 8 6 5
INSA 7–14 Jun 2021 1,006 26 23 22 9 6 7 7 3
INSA 8–16 Mar 2021 1,036 30 23 19 9 8 6 5 7
Infratest dimap 25 Feb–1 Mar 2021 1,000 29 23 22 10 5 6 6 6
INSA 27 Jan–2 Feb 2021 1,000 31 23 22 7 8 6 3 8
INSA 2–5 Nov 2020 1,032 33 22 22 9 6 5 3 11
INSA 5–12 Oct 2020 1,004 33 22 22 8 7 4 4 11
INSA 24 Aug–2 Sep 2020 1,012 33 22 22 9 5 4 5 11
Infratest dimap 30 Jul–4 Aug 2020 1,000 32 20 24 10 6 4 4 8
INSA 15–22 Jun 2020 1,016 35 22 22 8 6 3 3 13
INSA 14–19 May 2020 1,010 34 22 21 8 7 5 3 12
INSA 25–31 Mar 2020 1,018 37 23 18 7 7 4 4 14
INSA 5–9 Mar 2020 1,034 38 25 15 8 6 4 4 13
INSA 10–13 Feb 2020 1,006 40 25 14 7 6 4 4 15
Infratest dimap 7–10 Feb 2020 1,007 39 24 13 10 5 4 5 15
Forsa 6 Feb 2020 1,003 37 24 12 9 7 4 7 13
INSA 5–6 Feb 2020 1,006 34 23 19 6 6 7 5 11
Infratest dimap 21–25 Jan 2020 1,000 32 24 19 8 6 6 5 8
2019 state election 27 Oct 2019 31.0 23.4 21.7 8.2 5.2 5.0 4.9 7.6

Minister President polling[edit]

Polling firm Fieldwork date Sample
size
2019-10-27 Wahlabend Thüringen by Sandro Halank–57.jpg 2019-10-27 Wahlabend Thüringen by Sandro Halank–88.jpg 2019-10-27 Wahlabend Thüringen by Sandro Halank–93.jpg Mario Voigt.jpg 2017-08-30 Georg Maier by Olaf Kosinsky-1.jpg 2019-10-27 Wahlabend Thüringen by Sandro Halank–70.jpg 2020-02-05 Thüringer Landtag, Wahl des Ministerpräsidenten 1DX 2723 by Stepro.jpg 2020-02-05 Thüringer Landtag, Wahl des Ministerpräsidenten 1DX 2788 by Stepro.jpg None/
Unsure
Lead
Ramelow
Linke
Höcke
AfD
Mohring
CDU
Voigt
CDU
Maier
SPD
Siegesmund
Grüne
Kemmerich
FDP
Kindervater
Independent
Wahlkreisprognose 23–30 May 2022 1,000 40 18 15 16 11 22
Wahlkreisprognose 6–14 Apr 2022 994 38 16 13 18 15 20
INSA 4–11 Apr 2022 1,027 37 9 5 49 28
INSA 24 Aug–2 Sep 2020 1,012 42 9 7 3 2 5 32 33
INSA 5–9 Mar 2020 1,034 56 16 21 40
Forsa 6 Feb 2020 1,003 64 9 6 3 18 55
Infratest dimap 21–25 Jan 2020 1,000 60 9 19 10 41

Preferred coalition[edit]

Polling firm Fieldwork date Sample
size
Assessment Linke
SPD
Grüne
Linke
SPD
CDU
SPD
Grüne
Linke
CDU
CDU
AfD
FDP
CDU
AfD
Infratest dimap 30 Jul–4 Aug 2020 1,000 Positive 45 43 36 32 21 19
Negative 52 52 60 63 76 78
Infratest dimap 21–25 Jan 2020 1,000 Positive 43 33 19
Negative 54 64 79

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Georg Maier was elected on the SPD list in the 2019 election but resigned from the Landtag in June 2020.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Troubled Thuringia gets fresh election dates". Deutsche Welle. 21 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b "State election in Thuringia postponed to September". Mdr.de. 14 January 2021.
  3. ^ a b Lehmann, Timo; Winter, Steffen (16 July 2021). "Weiter Chaos in Thüringen: Warum nichts aus der vorgezogenen Neuwahl des Landtags wurde". www.spiegel.de (in German).
  4. ^ landesrecht.thueringen.de
  5. ^ Wahltermine in Thüringen, auf wahlen.thueringen.de
  6. ^ "Landtagswahl abgesagt: Thüringer Landtag wird nicht aufgelöst". MDR (in German). 16 July 2021.
  7. ^ "Wahlen in Thüringen". Thüringer Landesamt für Statistik.
  8. ^ "Desolation and hope in German city of Erfurt after far-right vote". Deutsche Welle. 9 February 2020.
  9. ^ "Germany AfD: Thuringia PM quits amid fury over far right". BBC. 8 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Germany: Thuringia state premier Kemmerich quits, 'effective immediately'". Deutsche Welle. 8 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Germany's Thuringia gets left-wing state premier in re-run vote". 4 March 2020.
  12. ^ "SPD state executive nominates Maier for state chairmanship and top candidate". Mdr.de. 15 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Thuringian CDU still without a top candidate". Mdr.de. 16 November 2020.
  14. ^ "Mario Voigt is to become the CDU top candidate for the state election". Mdr.de. 17 November 2020.
  15. ^ "Has the FDP's Kemmerich problem now been solved?". Der Tagesspiegel. 11 December 2020.

External links[edit]