According to preliminary results, the CDU maintained its dominance in the district elections in Saxony. The AfD, on the other hand, performed significantly worse than expected in the nine districts. In the district of Mittelsachsen, where the AfD had calculated the best chances of winning the first district post nationwide, the non-party candidate Dirk Neubauer was clearly ahead of the AfD candidate Rolf Weigand after the first ballot. There will be another election on July 3rd. In the districts of Northern Saxony and Saxon Switzerland-Osterzgebirge, on the other hand, it is already clear that the CDU incumbents will keep their posts. Incumbent Dirk Hilbert (FDP) was also ahead in the state capital Dresden – but he has to face the vote again.

“This is how it works in Saxony: When it comes down to it, an unmistakable signal for the political center,” tweeted Saxony’s new interior minister, Armin Schuster (CDU) on Sunday evening. “So gehtsächsisch” is the title of the Saxon image campaign.

The North Saxon District Administrator Kai Emanuel defended his office with 62.9 percent of the votes. The non-party Emanuel, who ran for the CDU, left the candidate of the far-right Freie Sachsen, Uta Hesse, well behind. She received 20.0 percent of the votes. The Christian Democratic veteran Michael Geisler remains in the Pirna district office – Geisler received 54.3 percent of the votes, twice as many as AfD candidate Ivo Teichmann (23.9 percent). Incumbent Henry Graichen (CDU) in the district of Leipzig, who received 70.3 percent of the vote shortly before the end of the count, can also hope for an absolute majority. He was also supported by the Greens.

In all districts up for election, apart from Central Saxony, the CDU clearly came first, but has to face another round of voting. Unlike in 2015, she did not immediately get 50 percent of the valid votes. It will therefore only be clear on July 3 whether these districts will remain in the hands of the CDU. With a view to the first ballot, however, the Christian Democrats can count on good chances in the districts of Bautzen, Görlitz, Zwickau, Vogtlandkreis and in the Erzgebirge district. In the Erzgebirge district and in the district of Zwickau, they are not only competing with the AfD, but also with strong free voters, who came to 24.4 percent in Zwickau and 19.7 percent of the votes in the Erzgebirge district shortly before all votes were counted.

As expected, the people of Dresden also have to go to the polls again. On Sunday, incumbent Dirk Hilbert was clearly ahead with 32.5 percent of the votes, but it wasn’t enough for a win. The second ballot is scheduled for July 10th. Hilbert stood up for the alliance “Independent Citizens for Dresden”, which is also supported by the CDU. He described the result of round 1 as a “clear statement” on Sunday evening.

In the other places were Dresden’s environmental mayor Eva Jähningen (Greens) with 18.9 percent, SPD interior expert Albrecht Pallas (15.2 percent), the AfD MEP Maximilian Krah (14.2 percent) and the left candidate André Schollbach ( 10.3 percent). Candidates from small parties and individual applicants had no chance. Left, SPD and Greens had previously agreed to jointly send the strongest candidate from the three parties to the race in the second ballot. Accordingly, Eva Jähnigen will compete against Hilbert. AfD man Krah also wants to continue.

According to the city, turnout was 47.4 percent on Sunday, slightly lower than in 2015. At that time, 51.1 percent of those entitled to vote went to the polls in the first ballot.