FDP Veterans

Old Guard Itching For Comeback

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The FDP is polling just above the 5 percent threshold needed to win seats in the German parliament and could become a junior partner in the next government after the September election.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The pro-business FDP, traditionally a party focused on cutting taxes and promoting civil rights and privacy protection, were part of every West German and then unified German government from 1969 until 1998. They were last in power between 2009 and 2013 under chancellor Angela Merkel.
    • Three seasoned politicians are campaigning heavily to get the FDP back into power.
    • The FDP is trying to broaden its appeal by moving away from its image as a pure tax reduction club.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf
Kubicki erwartet FDP-Wiedergeburt
A word in your ear: FDP Veteran Wolfgang Kubicki (L) talking to party chairman Christian Lindner.

Germany’s pro-business Free Democratic Party was all but written off after it crashed out of parliament at the last general election in 2013, but is battling to regain its role as traditional kingmaker in German politics in the September vote.

It won’t be easy because the FDP will have to elbow its way back in to a crowded market. It’s one of six parties that are predicted to make it into parliament in September. They include three small parties that are all currently polling ahead of the FDP: the populist right-wing Alternative for Germany, the Greens and the Left Party.

Three ageing politicians are battling to ensure it makes a comeback, which will require shedding its image as a party preoccupied with cutting taxes for its traditionally affluent voter base of dentists, lawyers and tax advisers.

The three include the outspoken Wolfgang Kubicki, 65, an attorney who likes to point out that every day he spends working for the party and not as a lawyer costs him €3,000 ($3,260).

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