SPD party conference: Esken and Klingbeil re-elected as chairmen

SPD party conference: Esken and Klingbeil re-elected as chairmen

They remain in office: Saskia Esken and Lars Klingbeil were re-elected by the comrades as party leaders of the SPD. This is despite the fact that the party has fallen in polls since the last election.

Lars Klingbeil and Saskia Esken remain the dual leadership of the SPD Chancellor’s Party. At the federal party conference, the two were elected as chairmen for another two years. Klingbeil received 85.6 percent of the votes, only slightly less than 86.3 percent in 2021. With 82.6 percent, Esken achieved a significantly better result than two years ago with 76.7 percent.

The 62-year-old Esken has been SPD chairwoman for four years. In 2019, together with Norbert Walter-Borjans, she prevailed in a runoff election of SPD members against today’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his current Construction Minister Klara Geywitz.

After the 2021 federal election, in which the SPD became the strongest party for the first time in almost 20 years, Lars Klingbeil, now 45, moved up to the dual leadership for Walter-Borjans. Up to this point he was general secretary and managed the election campaign from which Scholz ultimately emerged as chancellor.

Election defeats, migration policy and budget crisis are causing unrest

In the first two years of their term in office, the two saw their task primarily as supporting the first SPD head of government in 16 years in the difficult three-way alliance with the Greens and FDP. However, crushing election defeats in Hesse and Bavaria, dissatisfaction with the traffic light course in migration policy and, most recently, the budget crisis have caused unrest in the party and led to calls for the SPD to raise its profile.

Next year there will be the European elections, three state elections in East Germany and several local elections. The big question is: Will the AfD’s soaring and simultaneous crash of the traffic lights continue, which has been exacerbated by the current budget crisis? In the most recent polls for the federal election, the SPD only got 14 to 17 percent – compared to 25.7 percent in the 2021 election. The three traffic light parties together fell from 52 percent in 2021 to 33 to 38 percent today in nationwide surveys .

Klingbeil sees dual leadership as a “sign of stability”

When Klingbeil announced his renewed candidacy, he viewed this step as a “sign of stability” in turbulent times. He has already achieved a lot together with Esken. “But we’re not finished yet.” Esken recalled that she became party leader in 2019 with the aim of winning the 2021 federal election. “I want to say very clearly: This is our goal now too. We have elections ahead of us that we want to win.”

Source: Stern

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