For a long time there were no figures that could give hope to the left. In a poll, 18 percent of respondents said they could imagine voting for the Left Party. “The left remains a party with a future,” said federal manager Jörg Schindler, who presented the figures on Monday. For the study commissioned by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the opinion research institute Kantar interviewed 2,300 people in April.

But when it’s not about the potential voters, but the actual voting decision, the numbers look very different. In the nationwide polls of the past few months, the party did not even get five percent.

From Schindler’s point of view, the result of the new survey on his party’s potential is therefore “not only good news, but also bad news”. Because this shows that the left has to improve considerably in order to really exploit its potential. “We have to step in now and convince the people who can imagine voting for the left, so that they do it in the end,” said Schindler. The federal manager speaks of “renewal” of his party.

This renewal is to be launched at the federal party conference in Erfurt at the end of June. On the one hand, the party wants to agree on its content and, if possible, settle the paralyzing dispute, especially in foreign policy. At the same time, the party executive is to be re-elected in Erfurt.

The chairwoman Susanne Hennig-Wellsow had already thrown down in April in annoyance. Her previous co-boss Janine Wissler continued on her own – and now announced at the weekend that she would again run for the top office at the party conference.

The 41-year-old, who made a name for herself as a faction leader in Hesse, is not only rhetorically talented within her party. However, she had to make up for the sluggish enlightenment of

The party leader has repeatedly emphasized in recent weeks how important a good team at the top is. But now Wissler is the first to come out of cover and announce her candidacy. Although at the end of the elections in Erfurt there should again be a dual leadership, Wissler threw her hat in the ring alone.

As a woman from the west and from one of the few state organizations in the old federal states where the left is represented in parliament at all, she hardly has to fear competition. Former party leader Bernd Riexinger has already spoken out in favor of Wissler – which is not surprising. After all, he and the then co-boss Katja Kipping had brought up the Wissler/Hennig-Wellsow duo before the party conference last year.

For Wissler, the vote of the member of the Bundestag Jan Korte is probably more important. The parliamentary manager of the left-wing faction has been traded for higher offices for years and was previously considered a possible successor to faction leader Dietmar Bartsch. “Top! I think it’s good,” Korte wrote on Twitter about Wissler’s announcement.

It is still unclear who is applying for the job of co-chair. According to internal party logic, the person would have to come from East Germany and – as opposed to Wissler, who in the past was at home in groups on the left edge of the party – would have to take a more pragmatic line. After all, the party wants to win back at least part of its potential voters in the future.