In Freiburg, West Germany, 400 delegates of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) began a three day pre-election congress on Monday (23 Oct.).
GV EXT FDP conference hall
SV Scheel arrives
GV Delegates applauding
CU Scheel (2 shots)
SV Scheel addressing conference
GV Scheel speaks applause
Initials BB/0300 RW/AH/BB/0253
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Background: In Freiburg, West Germany, 400 delegates of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) began a three day pre-election congress on Monday (23 Oct.). The Party, the junior faction in Chancellor Willy Brandt's coalition government. is led by Foreign Minister Walter Scheel. Its secretary-general, Herr Karl-Herman Flach, forecast that the party will boost its share of the poll by two per cent in the elections on November 19--but in local government elections in two states on Sunday, the party's votes were down by about four per cent.
How the FDP fares in the general election, could affect the shape of the next federal government. Sunday's local elections showed a trend away from the liberal, centralist Free Democrats, to the two major parties--either left to Herr Brandt's Social Democrats or right to Dr. Rainer Barzel's Christian Democrats. In the 1969 elections the FDP's 5.8 per cent of the poll, added to Herr Brandt's 42.7 per cent, won the day for the coalition government. now observers see a tense struggle--if the FDP loses popularity it won't be in a coalition government, and Herr Brandt's party could also find itself in opposition through losing the prop of its coalition partner.