The Christian Social Union (CSU) has experienced a rapid decline in popularity in the German state of Bavaria. After “enjoying six decades of dominance in the state, [CSU] is predicted to suffer heavy losses in the vote on 14 October,” Independent UK reports. “A recent opinion poll predicted the CSU could lose nearly 13 percentage points as voters flock to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD).
In the last regional election, CSU earned 47.7 percent of the vote. However, the latest infratest-dimap poll now has the party pulling in just 35 percent of the vote less than a month out from the election. Simultaneously, AfD has jumped up its support to 11 percent.
If the support for AfD holds, the party could enter into the Bavarian state parliament for the first time come October. AfD has lead the campaign in Germany criticizing the current immigration policy that has lead to a substantial influx of refugees in the last few years.
Germany’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, recognizes the growing concerns of Germans on the topic of immigration. “Those who are not entitled to protection have to return to their countries of origin, because...no country on this planet can take in unlimited numbers of refugees and migrants,” Seehofer declared to hundreds of delegates at congress.
AfD certainly does not have the support today to transform policy in the country. However, as support continues to grow, so does the pressure on the ruling coalition to address German concerns on immigration.