AOn Sunday, Ana-Maria Trăsnea (SPD), Lars Lindemann (FDP), Pascal Meiser (The Left) and Nina Stahr (The Greens) were still members of the Bundestag with a political program and a life plan at least until the next federal election in autumn 2025. An election evening and a few hours later things are no longer the same for the four of them.
On Monday morning, a short entry appeared on its Bundestag pages: “Nina Stahr temporarily lost the mandate in the repeat election in Berlin on February 11, 2024. Membership in the German Bundestag will remain until the final election results are determined on March 1, 2024,” says the biographical note of the Green MPs from Frankfurt am Main.
It's a bizarre situation, says Stahr to the FAZ: “Where the election was repeated, we even gained some of them, but because of the low voter turnout I'm still losing the mandate.” Twenty percent of Berliners were eligible to vote again, 51 percent of them voted the urns. Because of the low voter turnout, the repetition had little impact on the Berlin federal election result overall – but for the four unfortunate people who now have to give way, the result is all the more bitter. This means that other federal states and their state lists will now be taken into account, in which the voter turnout in 2021 was higher than in the repeat in Berlin.
Encouragement from other factions too
The Berlin state returning officer, Stephan Bröchler, attributed the low turnout to possible uncertainty among some Berliners as to whether they were eligible to vote or not. In addition, Sunday was the last day of the Berlin winter holidays, so many of those eligible to vote may have still been away; The bad weather was also cited as a reason. Now three successors from Hesse, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia are to move into the Bundestag; The mandate of the FDP MP Lars Lindemann, who comes from Brandenburg and has been General Secretary of the Berlin FDP since 2020, will no longer be replaced.
Personally, she is disappointed about it, says Nina Stahr. “I would have liked to continue working on my topics, basic child security, the Starting Opportunities Act, the Kita Quality Act, the Bafög reform – even though I am sure that my colleagues will carry it on very well.” But she has been getting a lot of encouragement since the morning and encouragement, also from other factions. “2025 isn’t far away,” they say, for example, and the 41-year-old politician actually wants to try it again in the next federal election. Until then, she wants to remain state chairwoman of the Green Party in Berlin. The successor Franziska Krumwiede-Steiner from the Greens from North Rhine-Westphalia will take over her Bundestag staff. “When that became clear, a weight fell off my heart last night,” says Stahr, “now I’m leaving somewhat comforted.”
The left-wing MP Pascal Meiser does not yet have a solution for his employees or for himself. “We had actually hoped that it would be enough for us. “I’m not really worried about myself right now, but I’m worried about my employees,” he says. He also finds the situation “surreal”: his party has also gained in percentage terms, “in the eastern strongholds, but also in the west” – but, like the Greens, lost overall due to low voter turnout. Meiser also sees numerous statements before the election as a reason for this. “If you hear beforehand that the election won’t change anything and get the impression that it’s not that important, participation naturally drops.” The fact that no election advertisements were broadcast also contributed to this. “It wasn’t really made clear that it could have an impact on the city. Now Berlin is weakened in the Bundestag.”
Treptow-Köpenick SPD MP Ana-Maria Trăsnea makes no secret of her frustration. “It’s never easy to get punched in the face,” she admits frankly. “I'm sad, of course.” Above all, the 29-year-old MP, who only moved up to the Bundestag in May 2023 through the repeat of the Berlin House of Representatives election, is worried about her experiences in the street election campaign. “We were jostled and insulted, people gave us the finger, one said we should die and that he would now only vote for the AfD. People are frustrated and aggressive, it’s been really hard.”
In this respect, she was not really surprised by the result on election evening. Trăsnea also blames social development on a political calculation of deliberately badmouthing the country and then presenting himself as a savior. “I am not in a position to give grades, but this is a problem for all of us and for our democracy.” She wants to run again in the 2025 federal election.