North-Rhine Westphalia

1. Overview

On Sunday (May 14th), the 17th parliamentary elections in Germany’s state of North Rhine-Westphalia will take place. The parties, which exceed the 5 percent election threshold, will take their place in the 181 member parliament. The current government in North Rhine-Westphalia consists of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Greens (Union 90 / Green). The State Prime Minister is Hannelore Kraft from SPD


The 5 parties that entered the parliament with the 2012 election are as follows:

  1. Social Democratic Party (SPD) 99
  2. Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 67
  3. Green (Unity 90 / Green) 29
  4. Free Democratic Party (FDP) 22
  5. Pirate Party 20


31 parties to participate in the 2017 election:

SPD, CDU, Union 90/Green, FDP, The Pirate Party, The Left Party, NPD, The Satire, Free Voters, BIG, FBI/FWG, ÖDP, Volksabstimmung, TIERSCHUTZliste, AD-Demokraten NRW, AfD, C Movement, BGE, DBD, The German Communist Party, The Center, The Rightists, Republicans, Purples, JED, The Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany, PAN, Health Research Party, BRD, Better Life, and V-Party


Party and provincial prime minister candidates who are likely to enter the parliament in 2017 is as follows:

Social Democratic Party (SPD) – Hannelore Kraft

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – Armin Laschet

Alternative Party for Germany (AFD) – Marcus Pretzell

Left Party (Die Linke) – Özlem Alev Demirel

Free Democratic Party (FDP) – Christian Lindner

Union 90 / Green (Grünen / Bündnis 90) – Sylvia Löhrmann

2. State Population and Voters

According to the data of the German Federal Statistical Office dated December 31, 2015:

Total population: 17,865,516

Foreign population: 2,270,248

Number of registered voters in 2012: 13 million 262 thousand 49

Number of voters voting in 2012: 7 million 901 thousand 2684


3.Election Programs for Political Parties on Migration

Christian Democratic Union (CDU)

The three main topics of the CDU’s electoral program: internal security, economy, and education policies. In the program, the items that draw attention to the immigration are the following:

– “Islamist terror”, extremism and racism must be tackled

– Immigration should be controlled for the border security

– Local governments should be supported for acceleration of border operations

– Training for integration should be strengthened and working for searching employment opportunities for immigrants.


Social Democratic Party (SPD)

Much of the SPD election program is devoted to educational promises.

The program attracts attention to the immigration as follows:

– Measures against racism, extreme right and radical tendencies must be taken. Stable fighting with these

– 2,000 police training should be given every year until 2020

– A humanitarian and fair asylum policy should be implemented and equal opportunity for immigrants should be given.

– Studies should be carried out for the education, integration, and participation of migrants in business life


Alliance 90 / Green

The emphasis on the foreign-born population in the KRV, the highlight of the program in the immigration is as follows:

– Those coming from other EU countries should be able to vote in federal, non-EU local elections

– Applications for asylum-seeking should be fair and prompt. Refugees must stay in their first reception centers shortened

– A new path to the “safe country” status should be pursued

– Money assistance should be provided to refugees instead of goods assistance

– Persons to be deported should not be held in custody

– Refugees and new migrants should have access to education, vocational training, health services, accommodation. Work should also be done for these people to take a step into the labor market. German courses should be given to asylum applicants.

– For refugees: It should be allowed to live in the place where it has the possibility of vocational training

– “State Department Against Discrimination” should be established

– Public services should be shaped on the basis of multiculturalism and diversity of society. It should also be visible in the public

– A migration museum should be established in the KRV to strengthen immigration awareness

– A state agreement to guarantee the rights of the Romanian minority on a state basis should be done

– Islamic spiritual support services should be disseminated in hospitals and prisons. The necessary training should be given to Imams.

– Islam is a part of the KRW. Muslim organizations that fulfill legal conditions must receive the “religious community” status. However, the DİTIB, the Islamic Council, the Muslim Central Council and the Islamic Cultural Centers are not already fulfilling the conditions for religious community status

– DİTİB contradicts secularism principle because it is related to Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs

– Racism, antisemitism, and anti-Islamism cannot be tolerated

– Alevi Theology should be established in universities as well as “Islamic Theology”

– There must be a constitutional education law that keeps students from religious and political ideologies

– An EU asylum agency should be established and the Dublin system reorganized. In addition, refugees should be distributed within the EU


Free Democratic Party (FDP)

In the election program of the Free Democratic Party, the noteworthy items are as follows:

– Germany needs controlled and qualified immigration due to demographic and economic reasons

– There is no room for antisemitism and anti-Islamism in Germany

– Temporary protection should be granted to asylum seekers on grounds of political or warfare

– For the refugees fleeing war, a legal status must be established limited with the duration of the war.

– There should be a modern immigration law separating immigrants/refugees / asylum-seekers. A Canadian model would be taken as a model.

– Social integration should be encouraged by clear rules and practice on integration

– For the refugees fleeing war, a legal status must be established for the duration of the war

– There should be a modern immigration law separating immigrants/refugees / asylum-seekers. A Canadian model based on the points system in this law can be taken as an example.

– Community integrity should be encouraged by clear rules and practice on integration

– Qualified refugees should be encouraged to learn German and compulsory language tests should be applied. Also knowing German in order to get a residence permit must be a prerequisite

– Migrants’ diploma equivalence procedures should be faster and easier

– German Islamic courses can be given

– European borders should be better protected and humanitarian aid corridors for refugees should be established at the border

– “Integration plans” for local governments should enter into force

– Education for non-vocational educators younger than 25 years must be compulsory

– Those who make asylum applications should be allowed to work. In addition, temporary work for refugees must be created

– For refugees to find work quickly; “Business Cohesion Unions” should be established, bringing together company, local government, and refugee volunteers


Left Party (Die Linke)

In the electoral program of the Left Party, the noteworthy items are as follows:

– The refugee quota must be abolished, every refugee who has arrived in Germany must stay in the country and the expulsion procedure must cease

– Refugees should be placed in houses, not shelters. The costs of accommodation and adjustment of asylum seekers should be funded by tax levid by large corporations and banks

– Gaining German citizenship should be facilitated. There should be double and more citizenship. Immigrants who are permanent in Germany should be given the right to choose

– The organization of immigrants should be encouraged

– Immigrant children should be seen as a chance to speak more than one language and these children should be encouraged

– Mother tongue should be recognized as the second foreign language

– Asylum seekers whose status is unclear should be able to attend free German courses for immigrants.

– An urgent program must be launched to raise German teachers.

– A 3-month ban to working permit for asylum applicants should be abolished. Refugees can leave the province if they wish

– In public services, the number of experts who have intercultural understanding should be increased

– Refugees should be split into”with the potential to reside” or “with no residual potential”

– The federal legislature should no longer be given the status of “safe country”

– Private refugee camps in Balkan countries should be closed

– A person in charge of asylum seekers/refugees should be appointed to the provincial council

– Public awareness on refugees should be established

– Racist organizations should be identified and fight against them

– Right-wing violence incidents should be handled properly by the Ministry of Interior

– Fighting against fascism, right-wing populism, anti-Islamism, and anti-Semitism

– Faith-based religious lessons should be removed from state schools


Alternative for Germany (AfD)

AfD says it is favoring the narrowing of asylum and migration policies.

In the election program, the items that draw attention to the immigration are the following:

– Imams should preach in German

– Religion should not be part of the labor market

– Migration policy of the country should be reshaped and migration to Germany should be reduced

– Asylum abuse should be prevented

– Services for asylum seekers should be reorganized

– Any extradition decisions should be sent back

– “Guard Police” unit must be established


4. Election Surveys


“If the election is on Sunday” question,

The results of the surveys conducted are as follows:


Company Implementor Date CDU SPD Greens FDP Left AfD Other
Forsa KsTA,


Apr 28 29 35 6 12 6 7 5
YouGov Sat.1 NRW Apr 25 27 36 6 7 8 11 3


WDR Apr 23 34 34 6 10 5 8 3
INSA BILD Apr 11 28 37 6 10 5 10 4



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