The Free Democrats in the Federation do not want to let their success in Saxony-Anhalt be fooled by the fact that it was a little more modest than the last polls suggested.

You come to a good six percent, move back into the state parliament.

The party and parliamentary group chairman Christian Lindner sees the growth of his party on the evening of the Magdeburg election as “an important political signal beyond national borders”.

Johannes Leithäuser

Political correspondent in Berlin.

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    Lindner only hints at it, but he wants to give the impression that participation in the government of the FDP, as it could now be possible in Magdeburg, is also the path that the Free Democrats would take in Berlin in the fall - “if that's good can be effected ". And even the success of the CDU of Saxony-Anhalt's Prime Minister Haseloff is still a little on his own wheels: Many of those who decided in favor of the CDU at the last moment would certainly have had the choice of the FDP in mind beforehand.

    The Free Democrats in the East German states have had a long series of failures in state elections. Neither in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania nor in Saxony or Brandenburg have they managed to return to the state parliaments in recent years, and in Thuringia, where they overcame the five percent hurdle with just a few votes, the narrow victory soon ended in disaster than the FDP top candidate in February of last year it was important to be elected Prime Minister with votes from the AfD. The return to the Magdeburg state parliament is now viewed in the Berlin FDP leadership as a success that could not undo previous defeats in the east, but could make it less significant.

    Three years ago the Free Democrats still felt that their weaknesses in East Germany had to be remedied with special political campaigns tailored to East German issues and sensitivities; this brought the former general secretary Linda Teuteberg into her office. But the corona pandemic has drawn voters' attention to other concerns in recent months. Teuteberg was replaced by the West German economist Volker Wissing.

    The corona pandemic gave the FDP an opportunity to attract attention despite its role in the opposition in the federal government and its organizational weakness. It consisted in not trivializing the seriousness of the situation (unlike the AfD), but nonetheless constantly criticizing the federal government's pandemic crisis management. The fact that these political tactics of the FDP may also bring dissatisfied voters into the house, who previously belonged to the AfD clientele, is not specifically intended as an effect, but is assumed. Because the calculation goes that far: When other parties, and in the new states especially the AfD, speak of threatened freedoms and invoke dictatorships, then the FDP sees an opportunity to let its own freedom flag flutter in the wind of excitement of the others.