How Germany’s Free Democratic party capitalised on the AfD’s misfortunes

One of the most remarkable stories to come out of Germany in the last year has been the rise of the Free Democratic Party (FDP). Having struggled for relevance in 2020, the party has transformed itself into a political force that could decide the makeup of the next government – and maybe even anoint Angela Merkel’s successor as Chancellor. The FDP’s success follows an almost eight-year long self-reinvention in which the party has sometimes resembled a cult of personality centred around its charismatic chairman, Christian Lindner. It was Lindner who began the party’s revival after a shattering 2013 defeat led to the loss of all its seats in the Bundestag,

Could the Green party revive Germany’s fortunes?

The BMWs and Mercs will be banned from the autobahns. People will only have electricity when there is enough of a breeze to keep the windmills turning. And the factories will be on a three-day week, while the airports will be converted into organic farms. Most businesses, and of course conservatives of any sort, will be nervous at the increasingly likely prospect of the Greens taking charge in Berlin later this year. But they shouldn’t be. In fact, they would be a huge improvement on Angela Merkel’s chaotic twilight years. As she heads towards retirements, Merkel’s legacy is looking very tarnished. The CDU is slumping in the polls. It has