Berlin has spoken and the result is clear: the conservative Christian Democratic Union, CDU Wins Repeat Election in the city, putting an end to 22 years of Social Democratic Party (SPD) rule.
According to a recent exit poll by broadcaster ZDF, the CDU received 28% of the vote, a full 10 percentage points more than in the 2021 election. Meanwhile, the SPD received 18.2% of the vote, and the Greens and Die Linke, the two other parties in the current governing coalition, received 18.2% and 12.8% of the vote respectively.
“Berlin chose change,” said CDU top candidate Kai Wegner, who went on to invite the Greens and SPD to exploratory talks over forming a new coalition. While the current coalition still holds a majority in Berlin’s House of Representatives, the election results could lead to a change in leadership, depending on the outcome of any potential coalition negotiations.
Despite the CDU wins repeat election, the Greens and SPD have stated their preference for continuing the current red-green-red coalition. However, if the Greens and SPD choose to continue their alliance, Berlin’s left-wing mayor Franziska Giffey could lose her job to Greens top candidate Bettina Jarasch.
The repeat election was ordered after the September 2021 vote was marred by irregularities, but it also highlighted Berlin’s growing discontent over the state of the city, including concerns about immigration and security. These issues were a central focus of the CDU’s election campaign and the party will be hoping this victory will give them momentum heading into the state of Hesse’s election in October.
The election results could also spell trouble for the SPD on a national level, as it may now face challenges in the upper house of parliament. Nevertheless, despite the setback, Berlin’s left-wing coalition will likely regroup and continue fighting for their vision of the city’s future.