As with Brexit in Britain, the outcome of a referendum in Hamburg came as a blow to the establishment. By the slimmest of majorities, voters defied the status quo, and the party that did the best job convincing the public it would honour their will collected the political rewards. The dynamic unleashed by the 2013 plebiscite on buying the local utility grids back from private providers helps to explain why the city state is expected to buck national trends at this Sunday’s elections. Polls predict the ruling centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), who are in decline across Germany, will hang on to their Hamburg stronghold with relative ease. Their junior coalition partner, the Green party, is expected to increase its share of the vote, leading to a strengthened mandate for the current power-sharing deal.
Guardian 22nd Feb 2020 read more »