In the 2021 election, the AfD lost some of its western support but basically retained its 2017 levels in the East, widening the existing gap. The Left lost in both regions but still does considerably better in the East.
In a new working paper, I show that that attitudinal differences between East and West can explain a fraction of the East-West gap in AfD/Left support. However, both parties also benefit from an “east bonus”. This is different from 2017, when the AfD enjoyed no such advantage, and suggests that the party’s position in the eastern states has become entrenched.
The paper is in German, but this automated translation is mostly comprehensible (and at some points unexpectedly funny).