In the elections in Lower Saxony, the AfD gained significant votes. Cemas boss and social psychologist Pia Lamberty sees further support from the party in winter due to the energy crisis.

After the AfD grew in the elections in Lower Saxony, Cemas boss and social psychologist Pia Lamberty sees potential for right-wing populism to strengthen next winter. “I see the danger that the AfD will continue to grow in the coming months because of the energy crisis,” said the managing director of the think tank to the editorial network Germany (RND).

“It is also about how the crisis is perceived: disinformation actors and conspiracy ideologies are working to increase the crisis of confidence in the state. That’s a strategy. Politicians from other parties therefore have a responsibility not to join the chorus of anti-democrats,” she emphasized.

Lamberty also assumes ideological reasons for the new AfD voters. “When the AfD strengthens, various factors come together,” she said. “There is a consolidated potential voter and an additional number of people who have ideological affinities with right-wing populism and are now choosing right-wing extremism, hatred and hate speech as a solution strategy in the current crisis situation.”

She considers the thesis of the protest election to be “shortened”. She explained: “There are certainly also protest voters among the voters, but in order to vote for the AfD, you need an anti-democratic anteroom and openness to resentment. They don’t have to be organized right-wing extremists, but people who are open to the ideas of the AfD.”