The elections this Sunday in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia will measure the acceptance of the management of Social Democratic Chancellor Olaf Scholz after his first eight months in power.
SPD candidate Thomas Kutschaty, who has become close to Scholz during the campaign, is seeking to succeed the coalition of Christian Democrats from the CDU and Liberals from the FDP who have governed since 2017.
Hendrik Wüst, of the CDU, who has been in charge of the regional government for only a few months, has similar support in the polls to that of his rival, around 30% of the intention to vote.
Small parties are expected to act as a hinge once again. The FDP has reduced to almost half, 7%, the support it had in the previous elections. The opposite of Los Verdes, who have increased their support by almost ten points.
The richest land in Germany
North Rhine Westphalia, in the northwest of the country, is the most populous federal state, with almost 18 million inhabitants, and the richest in Germany. The usual fiefdom of social democracy, this vote is expected to reflect German opinion on the Scholz government’s reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its attempt to cut dependence on Russian fuels or the sharp rise in inflation.