Impossible, at a time when the polling stations had just closed, Sunday evening, September 26, to say who, the Social Democrats (SPD) of Olaf Scholz or the conservatives of Armin Laschet, emerged victorious in the German parliamentary elections . The first polls of the two main public television channels gave slightly different results: according to the ARD exit poll, the conservative union CDU-CSU and the Christian Democrats would each get 25%. For the ZDF channel, on the other hand, the SPD is slightly ahead, with 26%, the CDU-CSU, at 24%.
The CDU / CSU for the first time under 30%
In both cases, this result would constitute a severe, unprecedented decline of the CDU / CSU compared to the 2017 federal elections, where the party led by Angela Merkel won by almost 33%, a score already marking a setback at the time. For the first time in 72 years, in an increasingly fragmented Germany, the conservative union has fallen below 30%, despite continued popularity at its zenith for current Chancellor Angela Merkel.
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These first polls were greeted with an explosion of joy at the SPD headquarters in Berlin. “It is clear that the SPD” won, welcomed the secretary general of the party, Lars Klingbeil, who immediately claimed the formation of the future government. A declaration undoubtedly hasty, especially as a large part of the voters voted by correspondence, causing a probable correction of this first tendency over the evening, after the first counts of these ballots.
The Greens and the Liberals, contenders for a coalition
About ten points behind these two formations, which together govern the country currently in a “grand coalition” (“Groko”), the Greens and their candidate Annalena Baerbock are missing the boat with, according to these polls, between 14 and 15% . Admittedly, they clearly beat their record of 2009, when they obtained 10.7% of the vote, and progressed by six points compared to 2017, but they did not know how to compete with the two traditional parties of the country, while the start of the campaign seemed to make them serious outsiders. They will play a role, certainly, in the coming coalition.
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The Liberals of the FDP, fourth with around 12%, appear to be the “Kingmakers”, they seem just as essential for building a future coalition.
The far right of Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), whose entry into the Bundestag was the main highlight of the previous election in 2017, confirms its roots in the German political landscape: with between 10 and 11%, this Islamophobic party plagued by internal conflicts, however, is down slightly from four years ago, when he entered the Bundestag for the first time, with a score of 12.6%.
Angela Merkel not about to leave
Finally, the radical left of Die Linke, which according to these polls brings together around 5%, is not even guaranteed to pass this threshold. If this is confirmed, she risks not being able to save her group in the Bundestag.
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It is therefore impossible, at the beginning of the evening, to say who of the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, current vice-chancellor, or of his conservative rival Armin Laschet, will succeed Angela Merkel, chancellor for 16 years. A three-party coalition is emerging, for one or the other, and before that negotiations that could last several months, to the chagrin of the partners of the first European economy, who fear a paralysis of the EU until in early 2022. Angela Merkel’s departure from the chancellery would be delayed accordingly.