If the CDU were to now criticize the SPD policies as a “shift to the left,” then without a doubt the SPD would probably utilize this position to its advantage, and likewise in a reverse scenario. The differentiation of the major parties is the key to their survival: only if they can maintain their distinct profiles will they be able to mobilize potential voters, despite grand coalition fatigue among the greater populace.
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Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that this strategy will work for either party. First, there is the risk that this fairly functional argument between the two parties comes across to voters as a genuine dispute. Second, centrist voters could feel alienated by this repositioning. Third, in copying the policies from the fringe hard-liners, voters may prefer “the original.”
But if the CDU and SPD strengthen their flanks without losing the center, the road could lead to success.