West Germany's far-right National Democrats tonight (Sunday) chalked up their biggest victory in any state election, polling 9.8 per cent of the votes.
West Germany's far-right National Democrats tonight (Sunday) chalked up their biggest victory in any state election, polling 9.8 per cent of the votes. This marked swing to the right confirmed the fears of politicians of the two big coalition parties in Bonn, Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, that left-wing student violence at Easter would produce an extremist backlash.
During a turbulent campaign, the National Democrats struck a responsive echo by calling the students unwashed and communist-controlled hooligans.
Their leader, Adolf von Thadden, was greeted by shouts of - "Nazi, phooey" - when he arrived at the State Assembly tonight. He immediately demanded that the coalition partners in Bonn should call a general election.
The National Democrats, whose 9.8 per cent poll was in the Baden-Wuerttemberg state elections, are now ensconced in seven out of IO regional assemblies, only three years and five months after the party was founded. Among other things they call for a new national awakening and want all foreign troops off German soil.
Tonight's result was seen as a political turning point in West German history, with the first clear cracks appearing in the dominance of the two big parties.
The National Democrat poll in other states was: Hosse 7.9 per cent; Bavaria 7.4; Rhineland Palatinate 6.9; Schleswig Holstein 5.8; and Lower Saxony seven per cent.
West German Chancellor, Kurg Georg Kiesinger, said tonight that the result would considerably damage West Germany's image abroad. He said many people abroad saw the rise of the National Democrats as a revival of nazism, although this description did not apply to many National Democrat voters.