The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) emerged as the clear winner in North-Rhine Westphalia with 36.2% of the vote in the elections for mayors and the regional parliament held on Sunday (13 September). Yet, even though state leader and candidate for CDU leader, Armin Laschet, was not on the ballot, the vote is being viewed as an indicator of his viability as Angela Merkel’s potential successor.
Laschet took the result to affirm his decisions on the coronavirus, saying that his approach “was right, is right and will remain right in the future.”
While some state leaders like Bavaria’s Markus Söder have taken a very strict approach, the leader of North-Rhine Westphalia’s was among those who wanted to loosen restrictions early.
The Social Democratic Party (SPD) obtained 23.7%, 7.7 points down from their result in 2014 and their worst ever result in the state.
The Greens won 19.1%, an increase of 7.5 points. In some cities, such as Cologne, they even took the top spot.