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German election: continuing popularity of far-right AfD has roots in east-west divide

By Charlotte Galpin, Senior Lecturer in German and European Politics, University of Birmingham
Maren Rohe, Research Fellow in Modern Languages, University of Birmingham
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Sunday’s parliamentary election in Germany will see Angela Merkel’s 16-year stint as chancellor come to an end. She was the first person from the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) to rise to the post. The performance of the populist radical right party the Alternative for Germany (AfD) is also being hotly anticipated.

The AfD has, to date, seen its best results in the territories that comprised East Germany. It is polling strongly in the eastern regions and is in the lead in pre-election polls for Saxony, on 26%…


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