May 22 elections in the German city-state of Bremen marked yet another disastrous result for the parties of Germany’s ruling coalition, the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the big-business Free Democrats (FDP).
Unsurprisingly, for the traditional working-class stronghold, the centre-left Social-Democratic Party (SPD) won 38.1% ― retaining government of the state in coalition with the Greens.
For the first time in history, the Greens leapfrogged German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU to take second place, winning 23% of the vote – an increase of 6%.
The CDU received its worst result in years, winning only 21.5% of the vote.
Their coalition partners, the FDP, suffered an even worse result, with their vote collapsing to only 3%. Having failed to cross the five percent threshold, the FDP lost all of its seats in state parliament.
The far-left party Die Linke received 6%, down two points from the last election.
Support for the Greens has been growing across Germany since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. Germans are overwhelmingly opposed to nuclear power.
This election also followed a recent change in electoral laws lowering the voting age from 18 to 16 years ― a first in Germany.