It is stunning, that a party forms in 2007, takes part in the election of 2009 and already gets more than 13% of the votes. How is that possible?
There are many imaginable reasons for that.
First of all, the GFL formed, when many people were unsatisfied. The big issue, whether a coal-burning power plant should be built was very current and urgent. Many citizens were angry because they never wanted the power plant, but CDU and SPD insisted on their plans. The GFL, before they even were a party, organized meeting in the town hall, collected signatures and even tried to convince politicians of CDU, SPD etc. to join those meetings. None of them ever showed up, and all those aspects finally led to the foundation of the GFL as a party. There were also some other issues, like for example the swimming pools in Lünen, which were all planned to be closed so that one central swimming pool can be built. Nobody wanted this, but for financial reasons the politicians still insisted on their plans.
So maybe the biggest aspect why the GFL became that popular is that they wanted to create alternatives. They did not only think about financial aspects (which is ridiculous anyway, because those plans will produce more costs than they will earn money). The GFL care for what the citizens want and have, all in all, the same aims as most of the citizens.
Being formed of citizens, this is no surprise after all. Furthermore they show themselves close to the citizens. In contrast to many other parties the GFL tries to stay in touch with them, wants to hear their ideas, invites them to meetings, wants to discuss about issues and not only make decisions the citizens do not want. Everybody is invited to join the party and take part in important decisions.
Another possible reason for the GFL being that popular could be what the CDU calls: “propaganda”
During the election the GFL had aggressive posters, trying to show the citizens, how their future could be if they still voted for CDU and SPD.
Those posters were to be seen all around Lünen. They also had a very well organized website right from the beginning, where the citizens could get informed quite easily, where they proclaimed the errors of the other parties. The GFL was angry that nobody listened to the before, that powerful politicians ignored the voice of the citizens. Before and during the election they made clear, that they want change, that they want what democracy is made for:
This seems to have made such an impression, that, though the GFL is quite an inexperienced and young party, people seem to trust in them. Now they will have to show, whether they really deserve it or not.