Interest in postal voting seems to be higher than in the 2019 European elections. The CSU sees the current Bavarian trend at 41 percent. You can find all the votes and developments regarding the European elections here.

Sunday, May 12, 2024, 10:19 a.m.: Interest in voting by post in the European elections has grown. A month before election day on June 9th, around 148,400 voting slips were issued for postal voters (as of Thursday), as the state election management announced upon request. This corresponds to 6 percent of the approximately 2.5 million eligible voters in Berlin. At the same time in the 2019 European elections there were around 106,740 (4.3 percent). “This is a pleasingly high value. It is becoming apparent that interest in postal voting has grown,” said state returning officer Stephan Bröchler to the German Press Agency.

From Bröchler’s perspective, there are various possible reasons for the greater interest in voting compared to 2019: “One explanatory factor is that the election campaign is picking up speed and this is also reflected in the number of postal voting documents requested,” he said. “I also assume that there is a connection to the attacks on politicians and election campaigners that some people say: especially now.”

The trend towards postal voting has been around for a long time. The current data from Berlin supports this: “They show that postal voting is on the way to becoming the norm,” said Bröchler. However, there were problems in Berlin when applying for postal votes for the European elections. The QR code printed on the election notifications, which can be used to apply for postal voting documents online, did not work at times, as the state election authorities admitted at the beginning of last week.

The election notifications for the European elections have been gradually delivered to the approximately 2.5 million eligible voters from April 30th to May 19th. It is also possible to apply for postal voting documents without the QR code in question: This can be done online via a link, by means of an informal written application, by returning the completed election notification or in person at the district election office.

Saturday, May 11th, 8:01 a.m.: Regardless of whether it is Frisian, Danish or Low German – the Schleswig-Holstein state government has also published information about the European elections on June 9th in these minority languages. For example, it describes what the European Parliament actually is, what its most important tasks are and who can vote.

Around 50,000 people with German citizenship are part of the Danish minority; Furthermore, just as many Frisians live in the north of Schleswig-Holstein. According to its own information, the country is the only federal state in which three recognized national minorities live: the Frisian ethnic group, the Danish minority and the German Sinti and Roma minority.

Information on the election procedure and parliament was also published in other languages ​​such as English, Turkish, Ukrainian, Russian, French and Italian. They can be downloaded online from the state government website.

“We would welcome as many EU citizens in Schleswig-Holstein as possible to be registered in the electoral roll in good time before the election and thus exercise their democratic rights,” said the state representative for refugee, asylum and immigration issues, Doris Kratz- Hinrichsen, and the state representative for political education, Christian Meyer-Heidemann.

Thursday, May 9th, 2024, 10:55 a.m.: A good month before the European elections, another survey sees the CSU in Bavaria beyond the 40 percent mark – but only just. In the new “Bayerntrend” by Bayerischer Rundfunk, which was published on Wednesday, it comes to 41 percent. This puts the party in the same range as its 2019 European election results (40.7 percent) – but has lost two percentage points compared to the January survey. A Sat.1 survey published on Tuesday had the CSU currently at 43 percent.

Compared to the “Bayern trend” from January, the AfD is down one point, which is now at 12 percent. The Greens and the SPD, on the other hand, each gained one point and ended up at 14 and 9 percent respectively. The Free Voters also achieved – unchanged – 9 percent. The new Sahra Wagenknecht alliance ranks at 3 percent in the survey.

However: According to the survey, one in three eligible voters does not rule out the possibility that their voting decision will change again. It is therefore fixed for 62 percent. However, interest in the European elections is limited: according to the survey, 43 percent are very interested in it, and 14 are even very interested. At a total of 57 percent, Bavaria’s interest remains clearly behind that before the European elections five years ago (66 percent).

The Bavarians identify the issue of refugees/immigration/asylum policy/integration as the most important problem facing the European Union. This is followed by international conflicts and threats, Russia and China, then environmental protection and climate change. A large majority of Bavarians (72 percent) are of the opinion that the EU makes Europe safer. According to the survey, 56 percent also say that the EU interferes in too many things.

For the new “Bavarian trend”, the opinion research institute Infratest dimap surveyed a total of 1,147 eligible voters in the Free State between May 2nd and 6th on behalf of the BR.

Wednesday, May 8th, 7:48 p.m.: Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called for people to cast a vote in the upcoming elections in response to attacks against politicians. “Attacks on our democracy concern us all,” said Scholz in a video message published on Thursday. One should not stand idly by when politicians, election campaigners and volunteers are brutally attacked. “An answer that each and every one of us can give is very simple: go vote!” emphasized the Chancellor.

Postal voting for the European elections is already starting on June 9th. For the first time, 16 and 17 year olds could also vote in Germany. “My request also to you and you,” said Scholz: “Join us!” A united Europe is too precious “to leave it to those who want to destroy it.” As examples, Scholz cited populists who called for Germany to leave the EU and people who saw Russia and China as role models.

Europe secures prosperity and the future for Germany, emphasized the Chancellor. Every fourth job depends on exports, without the EU people would have less money. In addition, the EU, with its 450 million citizens, has a completely different political weight than a single country. “This is crucial in uncertain times like these,” said Scholz. It is irresponsible to question a united Europe in times of the Ukraine war and the possible election of a new US president.

3.35 p.m.: The Saxon police want to ensure the safety of election campaigners and election workers in the Free State in close coordination with the parties. Interior Minister Armin Schuster (CDU) announced this on Tuesday after the cabinet meeting in Dresden. He suggested that the federal government create a joint situation report on attacks on politicians because they happen all over Germany. This would also make it possible to see whether such activities take place in a network.

“We want to get even closer to the election workers,” said the minister. You can’t play “man-marking”, but you can play “sensible zonal marking”. It is hoped that the parties will provide targeted information about where and when election campaigners are on the move so that police patrols can then be sent to these areas.

Last Friday, politicians from the Greens and the SPD were attacked in Dresden. The SPD MEP Matthias Ecke was seriously injured and had to be operated on in hospital. In Saxony, in addition to the European elections, there will also be a local election on June 9th, and the state election will take place on September 1st.

Tuesday, May 7th, 7:10 a.m.: A good month before the European elections, according to a new survey, the CSU can still have legitimate hopes of a result beyond the 40 percent mark: If elections were to take place on Sunday, the Christian Socialists could join in 43 percent of the votes are expected – at least that’s what the opinion research institute GMS determined on behalf of Sat.1 Bayern. That would be a good two percentage points more than in the 2019 European elections (40.7 percent) and six percentage points more than in the 2023 state elections (37.0 percent).

The Greens in Bavaria would therefore currently have to be satisfied with 12 percent, the Free Voters and the SPD with 9 percent each. The AfD has recently fallen in favor in the polls: in the new survey it is at 14 percent. That is significantly more than in the 2019 European elections (8.5 percent). However: At the turn of the year, a GMS European election survey still saw the AfD in Bavaria at 17 percent. The new Sahra Wagenknecht alliance ranks at 4 percent in the survey published on Tuesday.

According to the survey, more than half of Bavarians are of the opinion that, given current political and economic developments, it is more important than ever to take part in the European elections on June 9th: 56 percent answered yes to a corresponding question. On the other hand, 38 percent said that participation had not become more important.

GMS surveyed a total of 1,023 eligible voters in Bavaria from April 30th to May 6th.

You can read more about the European elections on the next pages.