According to calculations by the television stations ARD and ZDF on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst’s CDU came to 35 percent (2017: 33.0 percent). The co-governing Liberals (FDP) posted significant losses and ended up at 5.0 to 5.5 percent (2017: 12.6 percent).
The opposition Social Democrats, who govern Germany at the federal level, came in second with 27.5 to 28 percent. This is their worst result so far in a state election in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The Greens, as the third strongest force according to forecasts, increased significantly and gained 18 to 18.5 percent (2017: 6.4 percent). The right-wing populist AfD would still be represented in parliament in Düsseldorf with 5.5 to 6.0 percent (2017: 7.4 percent). As in 2017, the party Die Linke failed at the five percent hurdle for entry into parliament.
According to ARD, the forecasts would result in the following distribution of seats in the state parliament: CDU 76 seats, SPD 59, Greens 40, FDP 11, AfD 13. After the end of black and yellow, there are now various possible new party constellations for a majority in the Düsseldorf state parliament.
The election, the most populous federal state with almost 18 million inhabitants, was the third and most important of four state elections in Germany this year. A week ago, the CDU won the election in Schleswig-Holstein, and the SPD triumphed in Saarland at the end of March. In October there will also be elections in Lower Saxony.
The forecasts mean a backing for the new CDU leader Friedrich Merz, who himself comes from North Rhine-Westphalia. He took over the leadership of the party at the end of January and also chaired the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in mid-February.