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Ned Richardson-Little
As much as the refugee crisis in 2015 has been crucial to the rise of the AfD, I would argue that the collapse of the SPD as an alternative to the CDU, especially in the East, between 1998 and 2009 was the necessary prelude.
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Ned Richardson-Little 7 Sep 18
Replying to @HistoryNed
Check out the electoral result of 1998 when the SPD and the Greens came to power under Schröder. After the dislocation and massive unemployment of the 90s under the CDU, the SPD appeared to be an alternative that could revive the ex-GDR. Non-voting dropped significantly.
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Ned Richardson-Little 7 Sep 18
Replying to @HistoryNed
By 2005, support for the SPD softened and the Linke managed to revive itself from sinking below the 5% the election before, based mostly on Eastern resistance to neoliberal labour reforms.
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Ned Richardson-Little 7 Sep 18
Replying to @HistoryNed
2009 is the turning point: SPD support drops by 10% and non-voting shoots up 7%. The Linke capitalizes on this but many just stop taking part in electoral politics. The CDU under Merkel becomes the only viable national party to lead a govt, which has continued until today.
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Ned Richardson-Little 7 Sep 18
Replying to @HistoryNed
Before the rise of the AfD beginning in 2015, there was first the collapse of the left as a viable ruling alternative to the CDU in areas hit by the economic transition of reunification. The AfD arrived with a crisis to a system already beset by alienation from existing parties.
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Ned Richardson-Little 7 Sep 18
Replying to @HistoryNed
Under Schröder, the SPD was able to run as modernizing reformers and the party for those who lost in reunification, but by the time Steinmeier ran in 2009 they were the party of technocratic neoliberalism. Steinbruck only reinforced this in '13 and Schulz was just confused in '17
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Ned Richardson-Little 7 Sep 18
Replying to @HistoryNed
This parallels the decline of the Social Democratic left elsewhere and is not just a matter of SPD choices, but it's important to see how electoral politics in the center were first hollowed out before the far-right was able to make a move.
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Joost 7 Sep 18
Replying to @HistoryNed
These charts about SPD, Linke, left-wing and far-right performance in West and East-Germany might complement this thread:
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Andrew Bowie 7 Sep 18
Replying to @HistoryNed
Further evidence why people should get behind anti-austerity Labour.
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