Setting a Trend?

Support for the Greens and the FDP in the 2021 Bundestag Election

in German Politics and Society
Author:
Andreas M. WüstMunich University of Applied Sciences, Germany

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The 2021 Bundestag election brought an end to the model of grand coalitions that Germany had witnessed in 12 out of the 16 years of Angela Merkel’s chancellorship. While older voters often switched from the Christian Democrats to the Social Democrats, young voters might have set a trend in 2021 by voting for non-governing parties, allowing the Greens and the fdp to enter the new government. Have we witnessed more than a situational switch from the Volksparteien to a new yellow-green alliance, maybe even the rise of a generational cleavage? This article provides empirical evidence for dissatisfaction with the grand coalition government and the quest for change among young voters—a fight against climate change combined with state-centered social policies among Green voters, and a broad liberal program for progress among fdp voters. Yet the reasons that young people support these parties differ significantly. Thus, it is thin empirical ice to associate the yellow-green boost among young voters with a new generational cleavage.

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