The election results in the state of Thuringia revealed deeply polarized opinions in the region. Preliminary results showed that left-wing Die Linke led the way, having secured 31% of the vote, whilst the far-right AfD came second with 23.4% of votes.
Consequently, both parties finished ahead of Chancellor Merkel’s CDU. In this video, Norbert Röttgen, CDU Politican and former Federal Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, criticised the CDU party as "systematically exhausted."
Meanwhile, the liberal FDP met the vote-share threshold of 5% by just 26 votes and now occupy five seats in the regional parliament. The turnout for the Thuringia polls was unusually high, with almost 65% of the state's 1.7 million eligible voters casting their ballots, compared to less than 53% five years ago.
For now, the future state government remains unclear, with a coalition required to secure a majority. The AfD’s strong results mean that Die Linke, the left-of-centre Social Democrats (8.2%) and the Green party (5.2%) are unable to repeat their coalition. The CDU will not work with Die Linke.
Read more reaction below:The BBC concisely summarise the situation and mentions the AfD’s hugely controversial regional leader, Björn Höcke. The Guardian noted the AfD surge. MittlerdeutscherRundfunk (MDR) discusses Bodo Ramelow’s (incumbent Die Linke Minister President of Thuringia) search for coalition partners.