SWUD: Begin of field research on a pretest weekend in September 2016

Representatives of the LINKEN Rheinland-Pfalz meet in Kaiserslautern

Mid-September marked the starting point for the candidates and their research project

Eleven members of our project team participated in four assembly meetings in Brandenburg, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz and Sachsen. Four questionnaires, two procedures for scientific observation and a guide for short interviews were tested. Our summary is positive. The survey instruments have passed the test; in some places, procedures can be optimized. Surprises and enjoyable moment were guaranteed. Moreover, many party members, delegates and candidates have taken part in the interviews.

Solidarity candidate competition

The study began on 16 September with the SPD in the electoral district of 61 "Potsdam - Potsdam-Mittelmark II - Teltow-Fläming". The meeting offered an exciting constellation: the electoral district had almost been lost to the CDU in the 2013 election. Andrea Wicklein, the deputy in charge, had been elected via the list on federal-state level. About a year ago she had announced not to run for re-election. This time, four party members applied for electoral district nomination. After a series of presentations at local level, the four delegates presented themselves in Potsdam. [Nbsp] Their speeches, as well as the questions of the delegates, were fair and objective. Already after first round of elections, Manja Schüle was declared the winner. She gained over 50 percent of the votes and can now hope to directly become a member of the German Bundestag.

Candidate positioning without a candidate, in parallel the first national list being adopted

At the DIE LINKE party, we "accompanied" a constituency and a provincial assembly meeting. At the meeting in Ochtrup for the electoral district 124 "Steinfurt I - Borken I", however, nobody wanted to throw his hat into the ring. Therefore, the meeting had to be canceled. It will be necessary to wait for a candidate to be identified. The first regional list for the Bundestag election 2017 was adopted in the state association of Rheinland-Pfalz. This is remarkable because generally the electoral candidates are nominated first, and only then the election list follows. The fact that the constituency candidates are among the candidates who have the best chance of being on the top of the list, is a foregone conclusion. This finding must, however, be relativized in the light of our research.

Rain Outside, sunshine inside

On 17 September, the SPD-general assembly took place in the constituency 158 "Sächsische Schweiz – Osterzgebirge". In contrast to the severe weather outside, the event was very harmonious. Klaus Wolframm, a chimney sweeper by profession, was the only applicant. He briefly introduced himself, answered individual questions, and shook hands with the district chairman Ralf Wätzig, who congratulated him on his election success. Wolfram received 92 percent of the vote and was satisfied with it, just like us, who received a response rate to our questionnaire of 92 percent as well.

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