Germany's governing red-green coalition today (Feb 20) suffered another defeat in regional elections: combined results of social democrats and the green party reached a meager 45 % in Schleswig-Holstein, a loss of 4,5 % compared to the 2000 elections.
At this time - 8.30 pm - it looks like the conservative christian democrats and the free democrats will form the new government with 35 seats, against 34 seats of social democrats, greens and the Danish minority party. All major tv channels project this result.
There might still be minor corrections as the evening progresses - but there will definitely be no longer a majority red-green government in Schleswig-Holstein. The last and only chance of the social democrats and the green party is to form a minority government, based on the support of the Danish party, but this looks quite unlikely.
That leaves on the regional level just one pure red-green government - in North-Rhine Westfalia.
Elections in North-Rhine Westfalia are scheduled for May 2005. A defeat in these elections would most likely mean the end of the government of chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and foreign minister Joschka Fischer.
Possibly the last chance for President Bush to meet chancellor Schroeder in Mainz next week...
Update: Final count (around midnight Feb 20): christian democrats 30 seats, free democrats 4, social democrats 29, greens 4, Danish minority 2 - so a minority government of social democrats and greens, supported by the Danes, seems likely.
Still, all other conclusions of my posting are still valid: election loss of Schroeder's social democrats, no longer a majority red-green government in Schleswig-Holstein, looming defeat for Schroeder/Fischer in North-Rhine Westfalia in May.