Recently, the polls projected that the German Greens would win Baden-Wuerttemberg in the recent elections, threatening Merkel and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The polls turned out to be correct: the Green Party and the Social Democrat defeated the CDU in two states: Baden-Wüerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate.
Winfried Kretschmann, Green Party Premier of Baden-Wuerttemberg, is a fatherly figure with a conservative persona. His slogan “Sie Kennen Mich” means ‘you know me’. It is a line that Angela Merkel has famously used in previous debates. Moreover, Kretschmann won the third term with a 32.6% vote. Meanwhile, the CDU got the worst result, with just 24.1%.
Kretschmann is a 72 years old politician. Green members describe him “as serious, honest, and sympathetic,” and he is very popular among people in Baden-Wüerttemberg. Not to mention that “he enjoys a 70 percent approval rating, and has come to symbolize a party that no longer talks ideals at the fringe but speaks directly to Germany’s middle-class.”
Robert Habeck, the co-leader of the Green Party, said that the win was “a super start to the super election year, and we will hopefully be able to take the tailwind from Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate at full sail.” The party leader is hopeful for the party in the future.
Annalena Baerbock, co-leader of the German Green Party, gave her congratulations to Kretschmann. It is a crucial step to reinforce their return to the national government after 16 years. It will also help the party to promote their ideas and protect the climate. Given that winning the state elections could demonstrate that they may have chances on the national level. Frank Brettschneider mentions that it shows that Greens are able to win without always being about environmental issues.
The Greens have been present in Baden-Wüerttemberg since 2011 after the Japan’s Fukushima disaster. Moreover, they also formed a coalition with CPU in 2016
, which resulted in quiet and stable relation. The Greens argue that the alliance is evidence that environmental policy can be effectively married to economic growth.
Finally, the German Greens defeating Merkel and the CDU is an important step to achieve a coalition within the national government. Additionally, it will help promote the voices of people that are often ignored. They can come back with force after being invisible for 16 years.