A new survey shows more Bavarians than previously thought want their own independent state, separate from Germany. While many stereotypes that foreigners hold of Germany – such as Lederhosen and Oktoberfest – actually come exclusively from Bavaria – local residents will note that the southern, alpine state often feels a world away from the rest of the country.
The state with its own dialect and cultural traditions even has its own independence movement party – the Bavarian Party. But a new survey looks to bolster the Bavarian Party’s hopes for a true Free State of Bavaria. A YouGov poll showed that one-third of Bavarian respondents agreed that “my state should be independent from Germany”.
This was a higher percentage than any of the other 15 states surveyed, with residents of both Saarland and Thuringia tied at second place at 22 percent. Not far behind were Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, each at 21 percent, and Saxony-Anhalt with 20 percent.
The states where people supported secession the least were Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Rhineland-Palatinate, all at roughly 8 percent. The percentage of Bavarians who favored starting their own country was higher than in previous polls, such as one in 2011 by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, which found that nearly a quarter of Bavarians wanted independence.
But Germany’s Constitutional Court already settled the matter of whether Bavaria could hold a Brexit-style referendum for a ‘Bayxit’. The court in January rejected a man’s bid to hold such a vote, arguing that Germany’s constitution does not allow for individual states to break away.