WEST GERMANY: A Vote for the Upswing

For weeks party leaders in West Germany's ruling coalition had campaigned in the North Rhine-Westphalia state elections as if their claim to national power depended on it. Chancellor Helmut Schmidt's Social Democrats had slipped badly in seven previous state elections during the past year, and there were fears that the Tendenzwende (change in the trend) could snowball into a crushing defeat in next year's national elections.

Last week the Social Democrats and their coalition partner, Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher's Free Democrats, turned the Tendenzwende around. In North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany's largest state (pop. 17 million)...

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