Rise of the Right
In September 2004 elections were held in the states of Saarland, Brandenburg and Saxony. In the Saarland, the governing CDU was able to remain in power and gained one additional seat in the parliament. The SPD lost seven seats, while the Liberals and Greens were able to re-enter state parliament. Remarkably, and most surprising, the Far-Right National Democratic Party, that had never gotten more than 1 or 2 % in recent decades, received about 4% of the votes (but did not receive a seat in the parliament, because they had not been elected by at least 5% of the voters).
Two weeks later, elections in the eastern states of Brandenburg and Saxony were held: the ruling parties overall lost votes, but they remained in power. However, the ruling CDU in Saxony was forced (due to their losses at the ballots) to form a coalition with the 9,8% party SPD as a junior partner. In Brandenburg the CDU remained junior partner of the SPD. The fact that in Brandenburg the right party Deutsche Volksunion (DVU) re-entered and in Saxony the right party NPD entered the state parliaments caused worries in the traditional political parties.