DThe AfD tries to explain its defeat in Schleswig-Holstein by regional causes, but remains fundamentally troubled. Federal spokesman Tino Chrupalla said, given the low election result of 4.4% after the defeat, that Schleswig-Holstein was one of the “most difficult federal states” for his party. He gave the reason: “People are relatively happy here.” This leads to the conclusion that the party leader apparently only sees the chance for the AfD to mobilize his voters as a protest party.
In addition to regional circumstances, AfD politicians also cited prevailing political issues as the reason the party left the state parliament after five years in the Kiel state parliament. “It was difficult to mobilize voters,” Chrupalla said. The leading candidate of the AfD in Kiel, Jörg Nobis, explained that “times of crisis” are “times of government”. This had an impact under the impact of the corona pandemic and the war in Ukraine; the winner of the election, Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU), “largely profited”.
Internal dispute “not appreciated”
In the subordinate clauses, the comments of the main AfD politicians also contain references to the ongoing internal conflicts which they blame for the defeat. Nobis said there had been internal disputes that were “not appreciated” by voters. Among other things, Nobis was referring to the dispute over former state president Doris von Sayn-Wittgenstein, who had been expelled from the party and the parliamentary group after long squabbles. After another AfD MP left the state parliamentary group, his group status expired.
Kiel’s top candidate, Nobis, belongs to the moderate right-wing conservative camp within the AfD. Federal spokesman Tino Chrupalla, from Saxony, urged his party to unite. “I think there has to be more discipline in the next few years,” he said on television. The AfD must now rely on its “core conservative and national values”. Despite these appeals, the party expects a troubled year. Chrupalla is due to stand for re-election at a federal party conference in June. The post of second federal spokesperson, occupied until recently by Jörg Meuthen, is open. At the federal party conference, a directional dispute between conservatives and right-wing extremists could be debated over personal details.
The AfD can hope that it will be spared another major defeat in the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia next Sunday, after all, five years ago it won 7.4% of the vote there (in Schleswig-Holstein, there was only 5% five years 0.9 percent), and current surveys give him between six and eight percent there. In the regional elections in Lower Saxony this fall, however, the outlook is less stable. There, the AfD won 6.2% of the vote five years ago.
On Monday, the AfD in Berlin missed an opportunity to explain the reasons for its defeat. A press conference announced by Chrupalla and Nobis was first postponed and then completely canceled soon after.