The Left reached an outstanding result in the Saarland, which is in big parts due to OskarLafontaine. Whether this victory will be connected to a change of policy is in the hands of theGreens. Also in Thuringia, the party with its prime minister candidate Bodo Ramelow couldincrease and almost reached the CDU. Whether this victory in the election can betransformed into a political victory, the weeks to come will have to show. The result in Saxonycannot satisfy, especially regarding the distinct losses in Dresden and East Saxony behind theoverall result in the state.The voter turnout rose in Thuringia and in Saarland. The reason is the reachable possibility ofa policy change. With this prospective, the voters could be mobilized by the oppositionparties, while the one party government of the CDU was more likely to tire and exhaust theiradherents, in any case it is not mobilizing.The effects for the federal elections depend on the acting of the parties in the days to come.The FDP and – a bit more moderate – the Christian Democrats used massive warningsagainst the “red camp”. The Greens, on the other hand tried to present themselves as thefirst modern party in the five party system: themes and contents were important. The SPD willnot have much time to enjoy “the dramatic losses of the CDU” because there were almost noincreases for themselves. How the SPD, pinched between the continuation of the GrandCoalition as the only realistic option for government on the one side and the refusal of acooperation with the Left on the federal level on the other, wants to take an offensive tomobilize its potential remains unclear. It is not very likely that the SPD will make that clearerbefore September 27
(the day of the federal elections).A small ray of hope for the SPD is the recapture of the mayor’s offices in Cologne, Essen andDortmund. Nevertheless, the local elections brought no rebirth of the SPD in the big townsand districts of the Ruhr region. In fact, the Greens increased their result here. For the Leftthe local elections were a more modest beginning of the political cycle till the state electionsin May 2010.
2. The results in Thuringia
The Landtag of Thuringia has changed again from a three-party parliament to a five-partyparliament. CDU lost a third of its MP. DIE LINKE, despite its grown share of the votes, lostone seat, but is now never the less shortly behind the CDU.
Rate of votes SeatsLTW04 LTW09 LTW04 LTW09CDU
43,0% 31,2% -11,7% 45 30 -15
14,5% 18,5% 4,1% 15 18 3
4,5% 6,2% 1,6% 0 6 6
3,6% 7,6% 4,0% 0 7 7
26,1% 27,4% 1,3% 28 27 -1
8,3% 9,0% 0,7% 0 0 0
The result of the votes is a disastrous defeat for the CDU and its Prime Minister DieterAlthaus. Simultaneously, the voters have confirmed to DIE LINKE its entitlement to govern theland. DIE LINKE continues to be the second strongest party. The SPD could get additional