Today, Germany’s Christian Social Union (CSU) will hold its final rally in the southern state of Bavaria. CSU chairman Horst Seehofer and Bavarian Premier Markus Soeder will be in attendance amidst criticism for anti-migration policy and infighting that has allowed for the rise of smaller parties.
This rally comes days before the October 14 election, in which 180 members of the Bavarian parliament will be elected. The election marks a historic dip in the leading CSU’s popularity, rating below 40% in recent polls, bringing about the question of whether the party will claim majority again.
In the fairly likely event that the CSU does not win a strong majority, Bavaria will be sending a message of discontent with the current coalition not only to Germany but to the European Union. It is challenged by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which is likely to claim seats for the first time in Bavarian history. A loss for the CSU will almost certainly spur far-right activism to increase, in line with a rise of populism in other European countries seeing a shift in political leanings.
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Bibi contributes to our analysis of European affairs for The Daily Brief. She also serves as a copy editor for the publication.