Daniel Günther: ruling moderator


Status: 04/05/2022 12:42 p.m.

Five years ago, he was still a substitute candidate. Daniel Günther is one of Germany’s most popular prime ministers today. His CDU is heading for a clear electoral victory in Schleswig-Holstein. Why?

It looks like Daniel Günther could show it to everyone again. When the CDU politician became a replacement candidate five years ago because the best candidate who had actually been chosen suddenly resigned, some hardly took him seriously – but Günther moved into the state chancellery in Kiel. On Sunday he could get a People’s Party result for the Union: latest polls have seen the outgoing Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein’s party at 38% – far ahead of the SPD and the Greens. That would be six percentage points higher than in the 2017 state election, and thus the CDU’s best result since 2005. The CDU is not currently progressing at the survey level in any other federal state.

There is no doubt that Günther’s personal popularity contributes significantly to good values. In the federal elections, the party obtained the worst result in history in the country, as in the European elections of 2019. Günther, on the other hand, is noisy Trend ARD Germany national the most popular prime minister and also outperforms its competitors in direct elections.

“Hi Daniel”

His name is not associated with a specific political project in the country. Nor did he keep all the promises made during the last election campaign. The current CDU campaign therefore focuses above all on Günther as a person. The CDU rented a shop in a shopping center in Kiel for the election campaign. Name: “Moin Daniel”. The campaign slogan: “Stay the course”.

Günther’s project was above all his coalition: the Jamaican alliance of CDU, Greens and FDP was the first on a national scale to last an entire legislature. An earlier attempt in Saar failed prematurely. And even in 2017 in Schleswig-Holstein, that wasn’t the most obvious option. In terms of culture and content, the CDU and FDP on one side and the Greens on the other were far apart, even to the north.

can process

This has not changed in principle, but the three have found the way to trusting cooperation. It helped that the state budget was generally well filled. And probably also Günther’s moderating style: as prime minister he was very moderate, almost presidential, balanced. The idea: Each partner should be allowed to implement what was important to them – instead of looking for the lowest common denominator.

As leader of the opposition, Günther had launched debates on the obligation to make pork compulsory in canteens. In the end, pragmatism reigned supreme, even when Günther made difficult decisions, such as the controversial dismissal of his interior minister. In the Corona crisis, Günther himself announced the most important measures.

“In politics, there’s no point in shouting,” he said. It’s about convincing people. “If you want to find a solution, you have to find yourself.” Nevertheless, he has a clear line and shows “leadership in certain areas”.

Daniel Günther and Friedrich Merz at a CDU campaign event in Neumünster.

Image: dpa

Encouragement for Merz?

The Jamaican coalition is unlikely to continue. Even though Günther formulated this as a goal. However, it seems that two Jamaican partners would suffice for a majority: black-green should be possible, and a coalition with the FDP could also be possible. Günther does not publicly say who he prefers. In terms of content, however, the overlaps between the FDP and the CDU remain greater.

Günther belongs to the most liberal wing of the Union. When Angela Merkel was still chancellor, he was always one of the supporters of her career, he also denounced her critics within the CSU. For a time Günther also promoted his more moderate style and pragmatism in his federal party – certainly as an alternative to the others in the Union. He wants his party to be modernized, in particular with a quota for women. But he could not assert himself with the conservatives. Not even with the new Federal President Friedrich Merz. Günther did not support him in any of his three attempts to become party chairman.

In the home stretch of the election campaign, Merz also came to Schleswig-Holstein. Sunday’s election is also important for the Federal President: It would be the first state electoral success of his term as party leader – and at least an encouragement for the important election in North Rhine-Westphalia a week later. late.

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