In the German federal elections of 2017, the far-right AFD became the third strongest force in German politics, with 12.6% of the vote. The far-left Linke clocked in at 9.5% which was a slight improvement to their 2013 result.
It has become increasingly apparent how remarkably similar the political programs and target audiences of the AFD and Linke are. This similarity has been pointed out repeatedly by political commentators, but its extent and implications remain under-appreciated as it demonstrates the increasing obsolescence of left-right distinctions in German politics.
Voters of both parties score lowest in satisfaction with their economic situation and income and are simultaneously the most worried about the future, a recent election study has shown. Both voters of AFD and Linke are in favor of a Universal Basic Income and share a common hatred for bankers.
The Linke and AFD both are skeptical of multilateralism, international trade and the legitimacy of the EU and the EURO. Further, both parties suggest that democracy in Germany is defunct and that it has to be fundamentally reformed. Here, both parties often stress the supposed democratic deficit of the EU as well as the European Central Bank to argue for more direct democratic control.