Lessons from the field: Germany — First lessons from Berlin’s election rerun
International observers, labour votes shifting right, and a winner who may still lose eventually: Last Sunday’s election in the German capital was rich in curiosities.
Campaigning in the German capital on cold winter days is a challenge in itself. However, trying to mobilise voters and encourage supporters to approach strangers in its foggy concrete valleys — after an exhausting multi-election campaign had been fought just 18 months earlier — can turn into an existential struggle for any party. And it did.
Feeling baffled? You are not alone.
Local residents like me have been confused as well — voters, observers and candidates alike. But this also means there might be valuable lessons to learn from this case. So let’s take a closer look at the most crucial factors in this unusual campaign.
On 26 September 2021, Berliners had been called not only to vote in federal elections but also to elect their regional parliament and district councils, and to participate in a referendum on expropriating big housing companies. All on the same day.