The right-wing extremist formation Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) fell in the election on Sunday at the federal level, but has gained strength in the regions of Saxony and Thuringia, two federal states where it receives almost a quarter of the votes received at the federal level.
The AfD received 10.3 percent of the vote, compared to 12.3 percent in the 2017 election when it achieved unprecedented levels of support. In areas like Hamburg, Bavaria or North Rhine-Westphalia, their share of the votes fell below double-digit.
According to official figures, the party has not even reached 5 percent in 21 constituencies. The city of Munster in North Rhine-Westphalia and a constituency of the city of Cologne share the lowest percentage of votes: 2.9 percent.
In addition to the successes of Saxony and Thuringia, their second places in Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are also remarkable. The Saxon city of Görlitz has the highest percentage of votes in the AfD with 32.5 percent.
“If we want to move forward, we have to have the same success in the west as in the east,” said AfD co-chairman Jörg Meuthen to the DPA news agency.
Thuringia’s co-leader Stefan Möller has called on the party to stay true to its program and “learn from the East”. In this sense, he attributes the electoral success in his area to the fact that the AfD “uncompromisingly defends its own line” and addresses the issues for which others have “hit” it.