Following up from yesterday’s post, we can also look at a map of Germany to see where the electoral losses for the center-right CDU/CSU were most severe. The party incurred their most severe losses in parts of Saxony and Bavaria, former party strongholds, but also in the Southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg.
By contrast, the far-right party AfD increased their vote share most markedly in East Germany and parts of Bavaria.
Finally, we can look at the change in turnout. Turnout increases were largest in Bavaria and parts of East Germany. As we have seen, increased mobilization benefited the AfD and hurt the CDU/CSU.
Interpretation: The AfD was able to asymmetrically mobilize voters that supported their anti-immigrant and anti-establishment positions. In September 2017, less than two weeks before the election, more than 80 percent of AfD supporters said that the “AfD is the only party through which I can express my protest against current policies”. The same share of AfD supporters agreed that the “AfD does not solve any problems, but at least they tell it like it is.” (Source: ARD-DeutschlandTREND). This, together with the turnout analysis, suggests that the AfD mobilized previously alienated voters by taking positions that were not represented by other parties in the political arena.