Munich The local elections in Bavaria, overshadowed by the corona virus crisis, are only decided in many places in the runoff election. For example, the mayor elections in the three largest cities of Munich, Nuremberg and Augsburg on Sunday in the first ballot did not yet bring a final decision. The run-off elections are scheduled for March 29, which is Sunday in two weeks.
Regardless of the spread of the corona virus, there was a noticeably higher turnout nationwide than in the election six years ago. The reason for this was often a big plus for the mail voters. In 2014, the turnout in Bavaria was around 55 percent – the previous record in the history of local elections.
In Munich it became clear that Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) had to be in the runoff – but he was very clearly ahead of his challengers from the Greens and the CSU. After counting around 80 percent of the voting districts, riders accounted for a good 48 percent of the votes. Katrin Habenschaden (Greens) and Kristina Frank (CSU), each with just under 21 percent, were significantly behind – and fought a tight race for second place.
In Nuremberg, after the long-time mayor Ulrich Maly has resigned, the SPD has to fear for the executive chair in the town hall: its candidate Thorsten Brehm has to run in a run-off election against Marcus König (CSU). After counting around three quarters of the voting districts, the two candidates were roughly on a par with around 35 percent.
In Augsburg after the waiver of OB Kurt Gribl (CSU), CSU candidate Eva Weber was clearly ahead. After counting about three quarters of the electoral areas, it came to almost 42 percent. Behind it, SPD applicants Dirk Wurm ranked almost equal with a good 19 percent and Martina Wild (Greens) with only about 0.5 percentage points less.
In the midst of the corona crisis, people everywhere in Bavaria were called upon to re-elect local parliaments, i.e. local councils, city councils and district councils. Almost everywhere there were elections, such as the mayors and district administrators. In the case of 4000 elections across Bavaria, a total of almost 40,000 mandates had to be awarded.
Mood test after state elections
For the parties, the local elections were considered an important mood test after the 2018 state elections and the 2019 European elections – whereby local elections traditionally count strongly as personality elections. However, many results will only be known in the coming days because counts in local elections take longer. There will be run-off elections wherever no candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote on Sunday.
Despite all the question marks about the worsening corona crisis, the state government had stuck to the election date. Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) emphasized only once again on Friday that all the necessary precautions had been taken. In fact, there were sinks in the polling stations, or disinfectants were available.
The state government has already made one provision for the run-off elections planned for March 29: voters should receive postal ballot documents by post without any prior application.
So far, the CSU has provided 53 of a total of 71 district administrators in the Free State. Twelve district councilors were free voters, four of the SPD and two of the Greens. So far, eleven of the 25 mayors of the independent cities have belonged to the CSU. A specialty is Würzburg, where a CDU man sat on the executive chair on a CSU ticket, among other things. The SPD had won ten OB positions in the past elections. A mayor in Bavaria was previously a FDP member, a mayor was one of the free voters, so far a mayor has been impartial.
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