According to initial forecasts, the CDU is ahead of the SPD in the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia. Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU), who has only been in power for around six months, can hope to remain in office.

In the polls before the election, a head-to-head race with the SPD and its top candidate Thomas Kutschaty emerged. According to forecasts, the Social Democrats, who ruled in North Rhine-Westphalia until 2017, ended up well behind the CDU in the elections on Sunday.

The Greens, on the other hand, achieved a better result than ever before in NRW. They are the third-strongest party to enter parliament, overcoming the trauma of the last state election in 2017, in which they only got 6.4 percent and, together with the SPD, switched from the government bench to the opposition. The Greens are likely to play the role of kingmaker in the search for the new governing coalition.

The FDP – previously part of the black-yellow coalition in Düsseldorf – has to accept a setback and lags behind the result of the last election. According to the first forecasts, the AfD must also be prepared for losses and tremble about returning to parliament. The left will probably fail at the five percent hurdle and will again miss the entry into the state parliament.

It is unclear who will govern the most populous federal state in the future. According to the figures, several coalitions are possible.

Great importance is attached to elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, they are also regarded as “small federal elections”. Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst’s victory can also be seen as a mood test. The CDU chairman Friedrich Merz, who himself comes from North Rhine-Westphalia, actively supported Wüst in the election campaign. The Union is now receiving further tailwind. Last Sunday, the CDU with Prime Minister Daniel Günther clearly won the election in Schleswig-Holstein. Previously, the SPD with Anke Rehlinger had won the state election in Saarland. For Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), whose poll numbers have recently fallen, the election in NRW is another setback.

More to come