The evening of the federal election on television

Dhis election day got off to a promising start for television stations. In the end, Armin Laschet (CDU) succeeded in Aachen in throwing a correctly folded ballot into the ballot box, turned it inside out. This enabled the verification of his vote by media representatives present. The fact that his wife Susanne did the same was unfortunately no excuse, but only raised further questions about the motive. In any case, the colleagues from the Bild newspaper discovered the elimination of the electoral secrecy first, which saved their afternoon in election reporting: Like all other colleagues, they had to bridge the many hours of broadcasting until the polling stations closed.

Hubert Aiwanger probably also hoped for the media, but in a different way. In the afternoon, the chairman of the Free Voters tweeted a post-election survey by the Elections Research Group with the note: “Please send the last votes to us too.” If the Laschet couple’s folded paper seemed strange, Aiwanger’s tweet was obviously illegal. Then the Berlin bureaucracy managed to ensure that the media did not have to be bored until 6 p.m. Various voters got tangled up in the thicket of elections, a referendum and a marathon, which was not really surprising given the well-known efficiency of the Berlin city administration.

The journalists had something to do, while voters outside Berlin probably took advantage of the fine weather for a trip after going to the polling station. The frequently expressed hope of a higher voter turnout should not be confirmed. It remained at the level of the 2017 federal election.

Surveys were correct

The time had finally come: the polling stations closed, except of course in Berlin. The prognosis based on the post-election surveys largely confirmed the poll of the polls, which one should at least mention. After all, they tend to be scolded if they are wrong. The influence of automated social media bots, supposedly omnipotent PR agencies from London, the Russians and Chinese or fake news on the election results played no role. Forget everything, even with the otherwise busy fact finders. Rather, the media were preoccupied with the parties’ statements about the upcoming election result.

Only the SPD could be really satisfied, at least at the beginning of this long evening. Finally, as a junior partner in a grand coalition, it became the strongest parliamentary group and, with Olaf Scholz, had the only strong candidate for chancellor to offer. In a post-election survey, 48 percent of the SPD voters stated that they would not have voted for the Social Democrats without his candidacy. Other parties had to make more effort to give their results a glimmer of hope. Alice Weidel, for example, considered the AfD’s result to be better than four years ago, despite the loss of votes due to so-called “special factors”. Markus Söder (CSU), once dubbed the “Chancellor candidate of the hearts”, called the “successful catch-up” of the past few days in order to gain something positive from the loss of almost nine percent of the votes.

Again journalism instead of activism?

One was interested in “the election campaign no longer”, namely Robert Habeck (Greens). That was understandable with the election result: after all, a desolate candidate for chancellor, in connection with a grotesque exacerbation of the climate issue, had turned a historically uniquely good starting position into a disaster. There is no other way of calling it when the Greens file leadership claims with a candidate for chancellor, in order to land ten points behind the competition in the end. It is to be assumed that it was not due to the lack of support in many traditional media for the candidate “from international law”. As of today, their influence on the opinion-forming of voters is to be regarded as a negligible factor. So now they could try journalism again instead of activism.


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