The Germans go to an election this Sunday without Merkel and with an open stage

Germany is seeing an unprecedented election in 16 years this Sunday, when Angela Merkel was at the head of the government. Without the veteran Chancellor on the ballot and with the uncertainty of how the political landscape will be reshaped, the Germans have to decide who will form the Bundestag for the next electoral term.

60.4 million citizens are called to vote, around 1.3 million fewer than in the 2017 elections, which made up a repetition of the “grand coalition” between the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) -social union block Cristiana (CSU) and the social democratic party Union emerged from the Democratic Party (SPD).

On this occasion, however, neither party seems ready to re-enact this pact. The Social Democrats, who are ahead in the polls after falling behind in the outgoing election period, wink at the Greens, who are striving for their best historical result, while the conservative side is “a priori” turning towards the FDP. .

The Germans go to an election this Sunday without Merkel and with an open stage
The Germans go to an election this Sunday without Merkel and with an open stage

In the polls, the SPD is around four points ahead of the CDU-CSU with an intention to vote by almost 25 percent. The Greens would be around 14 percent, the right-wing extremist alternative for Germany 12 percent, the FDP liberals 11 percent and Die Linke 7 percent.

With the exception of the AfD, which is reviled for pacts in German politics, the votes and seats of the other major parties depend on who governs Germany. The mathematical predictions assume a coalition of at least two parties, and the possible pacts were repeatedly the cause of accusations during the election campaign.

The CDU is striving to keep power out of the hand of Armin Laschet, the head of government in the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which has been shaken by all sorts of controversies in recent months. Although she is the favorite to succeed Merkel, her block has lost around ten points in the polls since her candidacy was announced.

However, Laschet has gone out of his way to defend that the results are “very close” in order to appeal one last attempt to the high number of undecided. However, a poll released by YouGov this week found that 74 percent of voters were already clear about their vote.

Controversies such as the controversial laughter at full floods in mid-July did not damage the image of the conservative candidate, who saw how the Los Verdes candidate, Annalena Baerbock, beat him first in the polls and then more persistently, the social democrat Olaf Scholz.

The SPD candidate, vice chancellor and finance minister in the current government, sells a more stable image than his rival in the CDU. His reliable participation in the debates and his proven leadership experience draw a profile similar to that of Merkel.

Scholz also benefited from a progressive decline in both Laschet and Baerbock, whose party came into play with a vote intention of more than 20 percent. However, he has played against him on his ambiguity on key issues such as his potential post-election ally, particularly in relation to the treatment he is willing to give the left.

However, in order to get to the timing of the pacts, it is first necessary to know the number of seats in each political formation. For this purpose, German law provides for a multiple distribution system based on two votes: In one, the voter chooses a direct candidate for each of the 299 constituencies, while in the second constituency lists are checked at state level.

However, the final distribution still has to include the so-called additional seats, so that if a party in a federal state receives more seats through direct elections than through lists, a corresponding number of seats is added. This compensation means that there is not always a fixed number of seats in the Bundestag.

The new MPs will take office one month after the elections, and Merkel will remain the acting Chancellor until there is a permanent government. The 2017 elections resulted in six-month consensus-building talks, and given the current volatility, the coalition’s options may not be immediately clear.

Either way, Germany will enter a new era without Merkel until you can see whether it does hand in hand with Scholz, Laschet or, to a lesser extent, Baerbock. The Chancellor, who will culminate an exit process she announced in October 2018, has always avoided the questions she was asking about her political future.

He becomes the ninth Federal Chancellor of post-war Germany, which is ruled alternately by the CDU and the SPD. It is included in an honorary list which, in addition to Merkel’s name, also contains the names of Konrad Adenauer, Ludwig Erhard, Kurt Kiesinger, Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schroeder in chronological order.

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