If you're already in free fall, it's hard to stop: the SPD is experiencing that. In the 2017 general election, she plummeted to 20.5 percent, but then staggered into a grand coalition, only for months to wipe the rubble woman Andrea Nahles so that finally gave up. And that, even though not even an alternative to her was in sight.
Meanwhile, the SPD halved in the state elections in Bavaria to 9.7 percent and collected from then on a few single-digit state election results, as in Saxony and on Sunday in Thuringia. That same evening, the SPD lost the Mayor's post in Hanover; the city where Social Democrats ruled since 1945. But the SPD candidate did not even make it to the runoff, which is now decided between CDU and Greens.
The main problem is that nobody really knows what the SPD stands for. At the federal level and in many other countries, the Greens are today the leading party to the left of the center. Progressive voters without a strong party affiliation decide in elections for the party that is stronger. This herd effect used the SPD earlier, today he gets her to the detriment. Despite all this, the party is now enjoying a month-long selection procedure for the successor to Andrea Nahles, according to the motto: party leadership is overestimated anyway. Without lurching it also quite well through time.
In such a situation, one can fall as a social democrat in depression. Or beaming into a state of euphoria in a self-referential way. The latter seems to be a bit like that.
The SPD seems to be taking a small jolt
After all, a few hundred thousand people were interested in the showcase of the candidate couples, and a little more than 213,000 party members voted on their favorite pairs. From the inside it feels like an animation. In the run-off election, which is to be decided at the end of November, there are now two clearly contoured alternatives: the duo Olaf Scholz and Klara Geywitz, who represent the "right wing" party wing (or the classic party establishment), and the "left" anti-establishment Couple Norbert Walter-Borjans and SaskiaEsken.
Suddenly, the rebel duo Walter-Borjans and Esken even appear in the clear favorite role. Because of the six remaining candidate pairs in the first round brought it that represent the Gerhard Schröder line, in the vote together only to about 37 percent, decidedly left pairs to almost 46 percent. It suggests in any case clear that the party base tends towards a radical change of course. Keep it up, this is a slogan that is rather poorly understood. The SPD seems to be taking a small jolt.
The surprisingly strong left duo Walter Borjans and Esken now has the momentum on his side. Because even the audience beyond the party starts for "Saskia and Norbert who?" to be interested. Both were so far rather unknown, which is changing now: Especially Norbert Walter-Borjans is already referred to as "Derdeutsche Bernie Sanders". An elderly gentleman, long since entitled to retirement, who suddenly takes the lead in a move. In his time as finance minister in North Rhine-Westphalia was not a discouraged "I-trust-me-nothing" -sozi, but the economically powerful on the toes rose. Who chased millionaires and billionaires who cheated on the treasury for years.
A "Robin Hood the taxpayer", which embodies a pair of social democratic convictions credible. His career began sometime in the last millennium on the side of Johannes Rau, which is not the worst reference, if you want to recommend yourself as a "real social". 80,000 Jusos have Walter Borjans and Saskia Eskens in addition, the idealistic boys still bringing activism.