Party members: Greens increase, losses for AfD and SPD | Free press


Berlin (dpa) –  The  Greens grew the most of the parties represented in the Bundestag last year, while the AfD lost a lot of members.

According to the latest data from November 2020, the Greens have 106,000 members – an increase of 9.9 percent since the turn of the year. ©

 The  AfD lost 7.9 percent of its members, the SPD 3.6 percent. ©

 The  changes in the other parties represented in the Bundestag were a maximum of 2 percent.


 The  Greens are currently moving against the trend, but could not turn it, says party researcher Wolfgang Merkel from the Berlin Science Center for Social Research. “©

 The  people’s parties have long been in decline, as have all large communal organizations, be it trade unions, churches or associations.” In contrast to most of the other parties, the Greens benefited from closer ties to social movements such as “Fridays for Future”. And they managed to convey “readiness for departure, innovation and motivation”. But growth will also reach its limits for the Greens, says Merkel. «©

 The  Greens are not a people’s party. ©

 The y are too much a party of academics, the well-educated and those who embody new lifestyles. ”


 The  AfD experienced heavy losses, shrinking from 34,750 members at the beginning of 2020 to around 32,000 members. For the party it is the first loss of membership in five years. A party spokesman said this in January, in part, saying that the membership of people who had not paid their dues had been terminated.


 The  SPD remains Germany’s largest party with 404,305 members, but suffered a loss of 3.6 percent. “©

 The  Social Democrats seem somehow out of date,” says political scientist Merkel. “©

 The re is no topic with which they trigger social discussions or discourses. ©

 The  leadership of the party also bodes little inspiration. ”

At the turn of the year the CDU had 399,110 members, 1.7 percent fewer than a year earlier. This makes it one of the last major people’s parties and has benefited for years from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity, even if she suffered from time to time during the migration crisis, says researcher Merkel. “How things continue for the CDU this year will depend very much on how the further fight against the pandemic goes. ©

 The  longer there are no resounding successes, the more it will bag the CDU and vice versa. ”


 The  CDU sister CSU, although only represented in Bavaria, is the third largest party with 137,010 members and lost 2 percent over the course of the year. ©

 The  Free Democrats gained 0.7 percent, they assume around 66,000 members. ©

 The  left lost 0.8 percent and had 60,350 members at the turn of the year.

Some figures are provisional. ©

 The  Greens want to publish more detailed statistics for the entire year soon. ©

 The  FDP has so far only been able to give an estimate for 2020 due to “corona-related delays in the admission process”. At the request of the German Press Agency, some parties also provided data on entries and exits or deaths, while others only gave total figures. ©

 The  accuracy of the information may vary; it also depends on how quickly resignations or deaths are recorded.

Political parties receive money not only from members or donors, but also from state party funding, which makes them more independent of financially strong donors. When determining the amount of government funding, membership fees are a factor as well as donations. © The  state grants a kind of co-financing here. However, votes pay off more strongly in European, Bundestag and Landtag elections.

“For party funding, membership fees often make up less than a quarter,” says political scientist Merkel. “©

 The  share of state funding now clearly exceeds the sum of the membership fees.”

According to Merkel, the number of party members no longer plays a decisive role in mobilization in the election campaign. “This is now organized by professional agencies and is also played out heavily on social media,” he says. However, the number of members is an important signal. “Falling numbers make a party look worse, increases embody success and new beginnings.”

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Party members Greens increase losses AfD SPD Free press


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