The changes in the other parties represented in the Bundestag were a maximum of 2 percent.
The people’s parties have long been in decline, as have all large communal organizations, be it trade unions, churches or associations.” Unlike most of the other parties, the Greens benefited from their 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 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 decline in 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 leadership of the party also bodes little inspiration. ”
The CDU had 399,110 members at the turn of the year, 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 proceeds.
The longer there are no resounding successes, the more it will bag the CDU and vice versa. ”
The left lost 0.8 percent and had 60,350 members at the turn of the year.
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 less dependent on 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.
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 being organized by professional agencies and is also heavily played out 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.”