Immediately before the membership survey on the future SPD presidency, the Bundestag member Hilde Mattheis and Verdi chief economist Dierk Hirschel have withdrawn from the competition. They justified the move at the last of the 23 regional conferences in Munich as they wanted to increase the prospects of another "left" candidate duo.

From Monday, SPD members can vote on the future leadership. They can now choose between twelve remaining candidates in six duos, who compete for the succession of the retired party leader Andrea Nahles. Should anyone still vote for the retired duo Mattheis / Hirschel, the vote is considered invalid, according to a spokesman.

The result of the member survey is to be confirmed on October 26th. However, a runoff is likely, as there are no clear favorites yet. The new board is finally elected at a party convention in Berlin in early December, with delegates following the vote of the party base.

SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil said before the membership survey, the claim of the Social Democrats. "The SPD is needed, the SPD is far from over, we want to shape this society," Klingbeil said. He also drew a consistently positive interim conclusion of the ongoing selection process. "It is good that we are following such a new path, we have shown how alive this party is," he said.

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