A Loss, a Slap

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Germany’s center-right opposition scored a big win during legislative elections in the country’s most populous state, underscoring another loss for the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the New York Times reported.

Results showed that the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won almost 36 percent of the vote, while the SPD came second with 27 percent during Sunday’s elections in North-Rhine Westphalia.

Meanwhile, the Greens gained 18 percent of the vote, while the pro-business Free Democrats gathered less than six percent. The two parties are part of Scholz’s governing coalition.

The loss in North-Rhine Westphalia – historically an SPD stronghold – marks another worrying trend for the party, which has come under fire recently over Scholz’ indecisive approach toward the conflict in Ukraine. The SPD also saw major losses in another state election earlier this month, while the CDU saw a surge.

Analysts and pundits have described the losses as “a historic slap.” They added that the results show that the SPD appears to be “playing more of a supporting role in the coalition,” instead of a decisive one.

While the state election will not directly affect national politics in Germany, it adds more pressure on the chancellor to keep his “Traffic Light” coalition stable and the Social Democratic brand strong.

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