The state election in Thuringia on 30 August 2009 saw both a drastic decline in support for the CDU, depriving it of a majority enjoyed since 1999, and the return of the FDP and Greens to the Landtag after a 15-year absence, raising the number of parliamentary parties from three to five. These changes suggest that the new legislative term would be unlikely to resemble the previous one. Perhaps the most notable outcome was post-election negotiations for a new government comprising the Left Party, the SPD, and the Greens, a ground-breaking development in two respects: not only would this represent a novel governing formula, but the Left Party would assume the unprecedented role of senior coalition partner by virtue of its higher vote share. These talks did not succeed, and the electoral arithmetic creating the possibility of a Left Partyled government is not currently present in most other Länder. Nevertheless, the discussion of a new coalition option served to break a taboo, perhaps rendering its realisation more likely in Thuringia and other eastern Länder in the future.
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