SPD tied with conservative alliance – .

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SPD tied with conservative alliance – .


Campaign posters featuring German finance minister, vice-chancellor and candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) for chancellor Olaf Scholz (L) and Armin Laschet, candidate for chancellor of the Conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) .
THOMAS KIENZLE | AFP | Getty Images
LONDON – German election exit polls on Sunday showed the Social Democratic Party is practically neck and neck with the Conservative alliance after one of the country’s most important votes in recent years.
Early projections show that the SPD and the Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union (CDU / CSU) bloc are both on track to secure around 25% of the vote.

The first exit poll, which was released by public broadcaster ARD shortly after the vote ended at 6 p.m. local time, showed the Green Party won 15% of the vote. The Liberal Liberal Democratic Party won 11% of the vote, as did the far-right Alternative for Germany party. The leftist party Die Linke was seen with 5% of the vote.

The SPD and CDU-CSU immediately demanded a mandate to govern. The SPD general secretary said the leftist party wanted its candidate, Olaf Scholz, to become chancellor. Meanwhile, the secretary general of the CDU-CSU said exit polls suggested that a coalition of the CDU-CSU, the Greens and the FDP was possible.

“Wait for the final results”

Commenting after the polls, CDU-CSU candidate for chancellor Armin Laschet acknowledged that the result was disappointing and said it was a “big challenge” for Germany.
“We cannot be satisfied with the results of the election,” Laschet told supporters, according to a Reuters translation.

“We will do everything possible to build a government led by the conservatives because the Germans now need a future coalition which modernizes our country,” he said. Projections show that the outcome would be the Conservative bloc’s worst outcome since World War II.

Noting that a coalition with only the SPD was not possible, Laschet added that “this will probably be the first time that we have a government with three partners”.

Meanwhile, the SPD’s Scholz said the party must “wait for the final results and then get to work,” according to Reuters.

Possible coalitions

Although it is too early to state a definitive result, projections at 8 p.m. local time indicated that the CDU-CSU bloc would win 198 seats in the Bundestag, the German parliament, and the SPD 200.

Together, the parties would achieve a majority in parliament, but the SPD has already indicated that it would like the CDU-CSU to enter the opposition, which means it would have to form a coalition with two other parties, possibly the Greens and the FDP, to obtain the majority. .

German experts like Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank, said exit polls had done little to clarify the prospects of Germany’s next leader and the makeup of government.

“As expected, both a ‘traffic light’ alliance led by Scholz of the ‘red’ SPD with the Greens and the liberal ‘yellow’ FDP and a ‘Jamaica’ coalition of the ‘black’ CDU-CSU of Laschet with the Greens and the FDP are possible The SPD and the Greens, who are close, would probably make an offer to the FDP while the CDU-CSU and the FDP, which are also close, would try to involve the Greens, ”Schmieding said in a note. Sunday night research.

To get the Greens on board in a so-called “Jamaica” coalition (so named because the colors of the parties involved reproduce those of the Jamaican flag) the CDU-CSU might have to make concessions to the Greens, and more than the bloc might be prepared to endure. , noted Schmieding.

While Germany’s next chancellor remains a mystery for now, exit polls appear to allay investor fears that the country is left with a coalition of the SPD, the left-wing Die Linke party and the Greens, a alliance with the government which, Schmieding said, “could have hurt trend growth through tax hikes, reform reversals and over-regulation.”

“If the official results confirm the exit polls – a big if because the results are close and the high share of correspondence voters of up to 50% can make the exit polls less reliable than usual – we would breathe a big sigh of relief. Until the exit polls, we had attached a 20% risk to such an extreme risk scenario, ”he said.

Why is this important

The election is significant because it announces the departure of Angela Merkel, who is about to step down after 16 years in power.

The recent German elections did not hold any real surprises, Merkel’s re-election being relatively assured. But this electoral race delayed by being wide open and too close to be called, even until the last days before the vote.

The Green Party has seen a rebound in popularity and took the lead in the polls at one point in April only to be overtaken by the Social Democratic Party, which has managed to maintain a slight lead in recent weeks.

Merkel’s conservative ruling alliance of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union failed to galvanize Germans, and around 40% of voters are said to be undecided as to who to vote for in the week preceding the elections.

What is certain is that the next government will be a coalition, given that no single party has won the majority of seats on its own. Experts have spent months speculating on what form a coalition government might take and negotiations, which could start on Monday, are expected to take weeks, if not months.

The CDU and its sister Bavarian party, the CSU, have dominated German politics since 1949, when the parties formed a parliamentary group and ran for the first federal election after World War II.

In recent years, the party has fallen out of favor with young German voters who prioritize green policies and want to see Germany invest in and modernize its creaky industries and infrastructure.

Voting took place all day Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time, at polling stations across the country although a large portion of voters opted for the postal ballot this election, given the coronavirus pandemic.

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