SPD Axel past his sell-by date

Munich politics has recently seen the SPD send one of its best known politicians, Axel Berg, into retirement. As of last week, the 53-year old politician can no longer stand for election in the northern constituency of Munich, and is to be replaced by a newcomer 20 years his junior.

According to the Münchner Merkur, Axel opted for optimism when asked about his defeat, stating, "I am fine," and that the vote last Thursday was, "...of first class execution...", and indeed, with 26 votes to 50, delegates in the Bundestag swiftly rejected Axel's attempt to become the candidate. The voters chose 31 year-old Florian Post instead as the SPD candidate for the north Munich constituency in the 2014 elections.

That the vote could have been close was already expected among politicians, but that the result would be so clear-cut could not have been predicted. The SPD was of the opinion that Axel had, over the years, drifted away from the ideals of the SPD and its base in his north Munich constituency. After winning in this area of Munich in 1998, 2002 and 2005, he failed in 2009 to win the hearts of north Munich residents against Johannes Singhammer of the CSU. After this defeat, Berg was spotted at SPD events less and less.

The SPD has nominated its candidates for the other Munich constituencies, as well. In the west of Munich, the SPD has voted for former SPD-deputy Roland Fischer to represent their interests for the second time since 2009. Christian Vorländer has once again been put forward to compete for the constituency in the south of Munich, whilst in the east Claudia Tausend will be contending on behalf of SPD interests.

The CSU, which won all Munich constituencies in the last election, has nominated Johannes Singhammer again. Hans-Peter Uhl (West) and Peter Gauweiler (South) will presumably run again also. Only in the East CSU will nominate a newcomer. The nomination will be later this year. At the moment, there are roughly 5 candidates, but only 2 have a realistic chance in the nominating process.

Considering that Munich's mayor is in the same party, there is little question that how these politicians fare will have an impact on Christian Ude's chances running for the position of Bavaria's Minister President against Horst Seehofer.

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