Status: 02.10.2023, 04:45 a.m.
By: Robert Wagner
There are clear differences to the polls for the Bavarian election. The AfD is doing better, while another major party is losing massive votes.
Munich - In a week's time, the Bavarian state elections are due. However, before adults can cast their votes in the Bavarian election on 8 October, around 60,000 children and young people throughout Bavaria expressed their symbolic will in the last week of September. For the eighth time, the Bavarian Youth Council (BJR) hosted the U18 election to accompany the state election. It was the largest U18 election at the state level to date.
From 21 to 29 September, 10- to 17-year-olds were able to cast their votes for a week at around 620 of their own polling stations. Voting took place in 86 out of 91 constituencies. The procedure is similar to that in the real polling stations, where elections will be held on October 8, as BR reported. The minors made two crosses on the ballot. One for a party and another for a direct candidate. In the end, there will be a preliminary final result, which will be announced on Monday (2 October). However, preliminary results are already available.
The U18 elections, which are held on the occasion of state, federal and European elections, are intended to promote interest in politics among children and young people (archive image). © Stefan Puchner/dpa
U18 election in Bavaria: Comparatively weak CSU, surprise in second place
The second vote results of the U18 state election so far (as of 30.9., 10.30 a.m.) show some significant differences to the polls for the Bavarian election, which are collected among eligible voters. The CSU only gets 26.12 percent of the vote – a result that would be absolutely disastrous for the party of Prime Minister Markus Söder. However, it is still enough for first place and an increase of a good two percent compared to the last U18 election of the BJR in 2018.
There is a surprise in second place. With just under 15 percent, the AfD ranks directly behind the ruling CSU. Thus, the far-right party achieves a better result than in the polls among adults, where it regularly lands at 13 to 14 percent and almost always in fourth place. Compared to the Bavarian U18 election in 2018, the AfD has almost doubled its result. At that time, it came to 8.27 percent.
Bavarian election: Free voters and Greens less popular with minors, SPD significantly stronger
Third place goes to the SPD, which, with 13.72 percent, is slightly better than in 2018 (11.42 percent) and significantly better than in the latest polls among adults, where it regularly ranks fifth with around 9 percent. The Greens, on the other hand, lose massively compared to the last U-18 election (23.28 percent) and rank fourth with 13.23 percent, just behind the SPD. Among adults, the Greens have recently come in third or second place with 14 to 16 percent.
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The CSU only gets 26.12 percent of the vote among children and young people in Bavaria, while the Free Voters only manage fifth place with 9.09 percent. © Bayerischer Jugendring (BJR)
The Free Voters, on the other hand, who have recently been able to take second place in the pollsters with 14 to 17.5 percent, only get just over 18 percent in the U9 election. Hubert Aiwanger's party, which competes most with Söder's CSU among eligible voters, only comes in fifth place among underage voters.
As far as the FDP is concerned, it would be just enough for young people to re-enter the Bavarian state parliament. The Liberals come to a comparatively good 5.83 percent (29018: 6.12 percent) and occupy sixth place. The Left, on the other hand, does not make the leap into the state parliament with 4.25 percent of the minors. After all, 3.87 percent voted for the Animal Welfare Party.
Under-18 elections have been held since 1996 to inspire minors for politics and democracy
Since 18, the U1996 elections have always been held in the run-up to major elections, especially Bundestag, state and European elections. They are intended to inspire children and young people for politics in a low-threshold way and to convey to them that democracy thrives on participation, Philipp Seitz of the BJR told BR. On u18.org, those responsible for the coordination office of the U18 elections emphasize that "without exception, ALL minors residing in Germany" can participate in the elections.
They speak of a "youth disenchantment" of politics, which makes a project like the U18 elections necessary, and point out that 56.1 percent of eligible voters in the 2017 Bundestag election were over 50 years old. "Far too seldom is there an opportunity to bring up young issues, to create public pressure for youth to be dealt with and to confront Politiker_innen. U18 can be such an opportunity."