Germany has embarked on its third ‘grand’ coalition government, with Angela Merkel sworn in as Chancellor for the fourth time. With the two main parties joined in government, the far-right AfD becomes the largest opposition party. The opposition also includes other parties, of course, both on the centre-right (FDP) and left (Greens, Die Linke, whose … Continue reading the afd: more exposure, less threat?
Today (Saturday) is the last day of campaigning for tomorrow’s General Election in Germany. At stalls and rallies all over the country, political parties will be trying to win over the many ‘undecideds’ and convince others to even vote at all. It’s with a sense of unease that I’ll be watching the result tomorrow evening, … Continue reading german election #1: pre-election thoughts
This is a ‘state of play’ blog focusing on my research. For part-time or independent researchers, getting into the right mindset and into the routine of writing can be tough. With so many competing demands on your time it's sometimes hard to feel you're part of the research community, or to even think about writing … Continue reading research update #1: election strategy and returning to the (grass)roots
‘Naïve’, ‘red’, even ‘dangerous’ — I recall my teenage self and fellow anti-nuclear campaigners being on the receiving end of these and similar adjectives while we leafleted for CND on Saturday mornings. And at least for a while after the end of the Cold War, add ‘irrelevant’ too. But now? The nuclear question has become an issue … Continue reading keeping it civil
The recent election in Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), delivered a bitter blow to centre-left parties. The ruling Social Democrats (SPD) achieved their worst ever result: just 32.2% (-7.9%), while their Green coalition parters were reduced to 6.4% (-4.9%). For the Left Party it was an election of mixed fortunes: on the one … Continue reading state of play: reds, greens and reds
This is the first in a series of blog posts on Germany’s approaching General Election (Bundestagswahl) and the implications for my research. Anyone who knows me personally and/or reads this blog will also know that the Left Party (Die Linke) is ‘my’ subject — so I’m starting things off with an overview of the party’s … Continue reading the left party: three key strengths — and an uphill task
(research notebook) The only downside of returning after three weeks’ complete break (and I'm honestly not complaining) is the mountain of work demanding your immediate attention. Which is why, after a truly brilliant time in Canada and with January rapidly slipping away, all I’ve managed to blog so far is this update and outlook. But there’s plenty … Continue reading reconnecting and looking ahead
Following five German regional elections this year, there’s now a bit of a breather. Needless to say there’s been plenty of analysis, not least on TV talk shows, with guests from various parties chewing over what it all means. Beyond the percentages, plusses and minuses, something that’s really caught my attention is a renewed focus … Continue reading left, right and party ‘cartels’
Jeremy Corbyn is confirmed as the leader of the Labour Party, with an increased mandate, after a contest that seemed to be mainly about MPs vs grassroots members and Westminster vs everywhere else. Now Labour has to overcome two big challenges: bringing together its own membership and transforming its grassroots supporters into voters. Both are … Continue reading reaching out: what’s on your mind?
Another weekend, another German regional election, this time in Berlin. And in stark contrast to the recent outcome in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (MV), the Berlin Senate result gave a much-needed boost to the Left Party. But some trends are still worrying: in both elections, waged workers supported the right-wing populist AfD over the democratic socialists; and unlike the … Continue reading germany’s shifting political landscape — part two: what’s next for the left party?