From the Guardian:
An upstart band of internet freedom activists are to enter Berlin's state parliament, ousting the Free Democrats, Angela Merkel's junior partner in the unpopular national government. It marks a remarkable success for the small Pirate party, which attracted 8.5% of the vote, winning its first ever seats in a state parliament, according to the first exit polls on Sunday.Doug Merrill, in A Fistful of Euros:
Their irreverent campaign captured the imagination of young voters as the party expanded its platform from an original focus on filesharing, censorship and data protection, to include social issues and citizens' rights.
Once opinion pollsters began to predict that they might overcome the crucial 5% hurdle to get into parliament, the momentum behind the Pirates began to grow, with supporters no longer worrying that a vote for them would be wasted.
With further proof that a five-party system is much more fun for analysts than for candidates or for governance, city-state elections in Berlin put out the previous coalition, returned the personally well-liked mayor, decimated a party that was a long-time kingmaker in West Germany, and put members of the Pirate Party into a German state legislature for the first time. Just in time for pirates’ international holiday.
[T]he Berlin tech-computer scene is engaged, experienced and has both a long history and a deep bench. The city is the home of the Chaos Computer Club and the first location for Blinkenlights, among many other highlights. There’s a big natural constituency for the Pirates, and they turned out.