The most important aspect is the relatively good performance of the AfD, which scored 6%, enough to secure representation in the state assembly. It is the first time that the AfD is represented in a western German parliament. This success cements its position as a national party.
Second, the SPD won overall, just short of an absolute majority, while the CDU had its worst result ever, with just 16%. This is due largely to the popularity of major Olaf Scholz, who is now considered to be one of the most capable SPD politicians, and a potential future chancellor. Of the various state premiers, he is clearly the one to watch.
The third is that the FDP, under its new leadership, has retained its parliamentary representation with 7% of the vote. It is too early to draw a national trend from this. Hamburg is a liberal city, and the party has had an effective local candidate.
The SPD will no doubt draw the lesson that the best way to regain power in 2017 is to move further towards the political center. This will squeeze the CDU from two sides. The AfD won its first representation in a western German state assembly and is now cementing its position as a national party. It will become progressively harder for the CDU to cling on to its absolute power, given those trends.
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