An Absolute Majority for the SPD as an Unintended Consequence? The Land Election in Rheinland-Pfalz 2006

 
An Absolute Majority for the SPD as an Unintended Consequence? The Land Election in Rheinland-Pfalz 2006

The state election of 2006 in Rheinland-Pfalz resulted in a (bare) majority of the seats for the SPD, which allows the party to govern alone for the first time in the history of the state. The CDU, on the other hand, received slightly less than one third of the vote, an all-time low in its former stronghold. This result was by and large determined by factors at the state level. Yet, it had a considerable impact on the federal level: It signalled the end of a string of devastating losses for the SPD, enhanced the standing of minister president Kurt Beck (now the SPD’s chairman), and brought an end to the last coalition between the SPD and the FDP. This repercussions notwithstanding, there is there is no evidence of a durable voter realignment benefiting the SPD, since the party’s victory was apparently due to short- and mid-term factors. Therefore, the outcome of the next election (scheduled for 2011) is by no means a foregone conclusion.