The main headline from the German election yesterday is not Angela Merkel getting a fourth term in charge, but rather her party’s weakened position – caused chiefly by a surge in support for the right wing nationalist party ‘Alternative für Deutschland’ (AfD).
The AfD is a controversial party – one which not only ran on a program of anti-immigration and anti-Muslim policies, but one which is at least in part represented by people who have expressed racist and xenophobic views.
Nevertheless, provisional results indicate that the party has received 12.6 percent of the total vote, making it the third strongest in the country.
Why then did this happen? As Statista’s Martin Armstrong shows in the infographic below, AfD voters were primarily motivated by fears of terrorism, fears of crime and dissatisfaction with the influx of asylum seekers into Germany since the 2015 crisis.
You will find more statistics at Statista
Perhaps key to understanding the lurch to the right is the indication that the majority of AfD voters say they made their decision not based on belief in the party, but rather as a reaction to their disappointment in the other parties.