Interesting to see how the electoral thresholds for the European Parliament elections next may differ in the member countries.
In Germany, the threshold has recently been reduced from 5% to 3%. Two parties might profit from this step. The long-established liberal FDP (until recently part of Merkel’s coalition government) failed to take the 5% threshold that applies at national elections in September and now is no longer represented in the German Bundestag. The lower hurdle for the European elections might well allow the FDP to claim a success again.
The eurosceptic AfD, a recently established party that also narrowly failed at taking the 5% national hurdle in September, hopes to enter the European Parliament. While eurosceptic sentiments in Germany have not led to as high numbers of populist parties as in many other EU countries, these hopes are well justified. The AfD is likely to be able to mobilise its voters who feel passionately about the European issue (most of them passionately oppose aspects of the EU, for example the Euro), and further set to profit from the lowering of the threshold to 3%.
Graphic from http://libraryeuroparl.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/2014-european-elections-national-rules-2/ (visit this site for even more informative graphics)