Parliamentary elections in Germany: the Social Democrats given slightly in the lead

the essential The first results of the parliamentary elections in Germany fell this Sunday evening at 16 hours. The Social Democrats gave slightly in the lead, according to still provisional results.

The German Social Democrats narrowly came out on Sunday in the parliamentary elections marking the end of the Merkel era, according to initial estimates, but the chancellor’s conservatives still intend to dispute the formation of the next government.

The SPD and their leader Olaf Scholz are ahead very slightly, with between 18, 9% and 25, 8%, the conservative CDU-CSU union led by Armin Laschet, second with between 24, 2 and 24, 7%, according to these estimates broadcast by television channels. Olaf Scholz spoke of a “great success” and introduced himself as the “next chancellor”.

But despite their “disappointing” result, the Conservatives also intend to form the next executive, warned Armin Laschet, who spoke alongside Angela Merkel. This looming competition risks plunging the leading European economy into a long period of political paralysis and negotiations between parties.

“Bitter losses”

For the Christian Democrats, the “losses are bitter,” admitted Paul Ziemak, number two of the CDU. The party had never fallen below the 25% threshold. In 2017, he had still registered 32, 8% of the votes.

Whatever happens, the results that are looming in Germany mark an unexpected rebirth of the Social Democratic Party, which was dying only a few months ago. The polls were greeted with a clam of joy at the party’s Berlin headquarters. As a large proportion of voters voted by post, this first trend could however be corrected over the evening after the first counts.

The Christian Democrats are sure to suffer an unprecedented setback, which will cause turmoil internally and promises a complicated succession of Angela Merkel. The score below 30% is a “disaster”, according to the popular daily Bild . This setback casts a shadow over the end of Angela Merkel’s reign, whose popularity remains at its zenith after four terms but who has proved unable to prepare for her succession.

The Greens and their candidate Annalena Baerbock, a favorite time of the ballot, miss the mark with 14, 8%, according to these estimates. Little reason for satisfaction: they beat their record of 2009, when they had obtained , 7% of the votes, and are up six points from 2017.

The liberals of the FDP, fourth with approximately 11, 5%, appear as the “kingmakers” essential to build a future coalition .

The far right of the AfD, whose entry into the Bundestag had been the highlight of the previous election of 2017, confirms its roots in the German political landscape. But with between and 10%, this Islamophobic party undermined by internal conflicts, is down slightly compared to four years ago (11 , 6%).

Olaf Scholz future chancellor?

If the trend is confirmed, Olaf Scholz, austere vice-chancellor and finance minister of the outgoing government, seems to have the best chances of succeeding Angela Merkel, chancellor since 14 years, and to initiate the “change” promised at the end of the campaign.

This centrist Social Democrat, however, will have to build a three-party coalition, a first in contemporary German history. The Greens, who did not hide during the campaign their availability to enter a Social Democratic government, should be part of the team.

Departure delayed for Angela Merkel ?

The identity of the third auxiliary force remains totally uncertain. The Liberals of the FDP, clearly marked on the right, are a possible partner in the framework of a so-called “traffic light” coalition. Another possible partner, the radical left of Die Linke, which according to these polls brings together around 5%, but which is not guaranteed to pass the 5% mark and thus save its group in the Bundestag.

Olaf Scholz was open to discussions with these two disagreements on virtually all subjects. As the negotiations are likely to last several months, they could delay the effective departure of Ms. Merkel, 67 years of which more than 30 in politics.

After a chaotic campaign marked by its errors and inadequacies, Mr. Laschet, the big loser of the evening at this stage, will however have to be very persuasive. Like a failed act, by voting he broke the rule of ballot secrecy, letting his choice appear in front of the cameras. The post-Merkel period ultimately risks giving rise to a new war of leaders within the German right, where the question of Mr. Laschet’s future at the head of the CDU is raised, eight months after his election.

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