The FDP in Hamburg has elected Sonja Jacobsen as its new party leader. In her speech to the 250 party members at the state party conference, she emphasized the issues of housing, education and transport. “We are the guinea pigs in the transport senator’s real laboratory,” said the former deputy on Saturday, referring to what the FDP saw as an inconsistent transport concept for Hamburg.

The confidant of the previous chairman Michael Kruse received 147 votes, her opponent Daniel Oetzel – the former parliamentary group vice in the Hamburg Parliament – clearly lost with 97 votes. Kruse did not stand in the election because he wanted to concentrate on his work as a member of the Bundestag.

This is the second time that Oetzel has failed in his attempt to lead the FDP in the Hanseatic city. The 35-year-old from the Altona district was already defeated in a contest vote in the board election two years ago.

The FDP Hamburg was recently noticed mainly because of internal party quarrels. For months, party leader Kruse and the board of directors argued with four young liberals about the former head of July, Carl Cevin-Key Coste. In essence, it was about a party expulsion procedure launched by the executive board after sharp criticism of Kruse in July – a topic that wore the party down and that also flashed up again and again in the speeches before the election.

The FDP Hamburg failed at the five percent hurdle in the 2020 state elections, after having been significantly more successful in two elections with the top candidate and temporary state chairman Katja Suding. Suding then switched to federal politics, but has since withdrawn from politics. The fact that the party is still represented in parliament is because the FDP MP Anna von Treuenfels-Frowein won her mandate directly. Later, MP Sami Musa switched from the SPD to the FDP.