Statement of Die Linke on the German general election results

The recent German elections saw a major drop in votes for the German Left Party – Die Linke.

We reproduce below the statment from the press conference held in Berlin at 4pm Saturday 2nd October following a meeting of  Die Linke’s National Executive Committee and their attempt to analyse the results and next steps. The German language press conference at the link above starts at 5 mins 45 seconds in.

From Co-Leaders Janine Wissler and Susanne Hennig-Wellsow

A summary of the main points:

Janine Wissler

This is the first time that the Party’s National Executive has been able to meet in person since being elected in February 2021, in order to analyse the results of the German Parliamentary elections.

We had a thought-provoking discussion following our disastrous results last Sunday.

We suffered losses up and down the country.

We are not in opposition to give ready made and definitive explanations as to where we went wrong at present but the discussions are now taking place with members.

The Left Party will be able to form a Parliamentary group of 39 members, due to the three directly elected members, even though they failed to obtain 5% of the vote nationally.

We have to analyse the mistakes that we made during the months preceding the general election.

There were a number of difficult factors during the election.

Firstly, this election was about voting in a new German Chancellor, which makes things difficult for smaller parties.

The second issue is connected with the Corona pandemic. That said the problems lay much deeper, as we have seen in Federal State elections both in the east and west Germany as well as the European elections. We need to seriously analyse the results and look at how we can strengthen the party across a number of areas.

We must prioritise our work, even as a small parliamentary group, in Welfare reform. We need to ensure people are clear where we stand and what we are aiming for.

Our Environment policies were well received, yet we didn’t break through. We need to focus more on the eco-social transformation of society.

We as the Party’s National Executive are responsible for this.

Our numbers in Parliament reduces our ability to influence this but we are convinced that the Left Party is needed in this country. We need a party that fights for a fairer society.

A party that represents those in the rented sector, nurses and care/support staff, workers.  We are for an eco-social society, for a peaceful foreign policy based upon solidarity.

Since the party was formed 14 years ago we need more than ever to begin the conversation in our local constituencies, wards, party branches and fractions as to how we can move forward.

Since last Sunday’s election 1000 new members have joined Die Linke.

Susanne Hennig-Wellsow

Following today’s meeting we are now in position to begin the process of reflection. If we had had the answers before, we would have a different election result. We now need to take the conversations back to our State parliament groupings, local government and regional associations. What did we get wrong? How did we get them wrong and what can we do better in future?

We need to examine our party programme. How did we fail to convince voters of our policies on welfare, wealth distribution and the environment?

We are now in a process and this is the first time that we as a party leadership have been able to meet and discuss in person and decide the next steps. We hope to organise online surveys and meetings with members. We need to listen to what members are saying and try and form the basis for a strong and united Left Party that can win voters over in the 2025 elections: a party that attracts voters and has their confidence.

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