The weekend elections in Germany's Lower Saxony have given the Greens a key advance, increasing both their percentage of vote and, together with the Social Democratic party, they have gained a one-seat majority in the parliament of Lower Saxony.
On top they have gained, together with other centre left opposition parties, the Social Democrats and the Left Party, a majority in the Bundesrat, the upper house of parliament of Germany. Now the opposition can both block legislation from the Merkel government as well as initiate laws themselves. This is the first centre left majority in the Bundesrat in many years, a hard shock for the Merkel government.
This is the first Red-Green majority in 14 years, a hard shock for the Merkel cabinet.
The election was a major blow to the ruling government party that had expected a last minute, come from behind victory. Instead, the CDU fell to 36 percent, down 6.5 points from their last results in the region and far below their polls that indicated the CDU would achieve 40 percent.
Meanwhile, the Greens and their economic strategy in this crisis has found resonance with voters. In the past five years, Merkel's party has lost to the SPD and Greens in five states over the past two years, with particular attention to the loss in the CDU stronghold of Baden-Wurttemberg and then the loss repeated in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The undisputed winner, though, were the Greens who achieved their best ever result in the region with 13.7 percent, a five percent increase over the 2008 results.
The emphatic defeat of the ruling party and the success of the left coalition may be a foreshadowing of the national elections scheduled for September where Merkel's governing party is expected to lose power and where Greens are tipped for a far better presence in the new government. The consistent election performance of the Greens over the past two years has been both encouraging for the party as well as developing interest and momentum in the voting public as the best viable alternative.
The consistent Green performances over the past two years has brought a new dimension and potential to the German national elections.
"This is a wonderful evening for the Alliance 90/The Greens," Göring-Eckardt added. "This is the best result in history, no party has grown as strong as we are."