Loud applause erupted at SPD headquarters when the clock struck six, and a poll was submitted: 26 percent for the SPD—two percentage points over the CDU/CDU.
At 11 p.m. Sunday, the Social Democrats came out with the same result in media companies’ forecasts based on election results, while the Christian Democrats finished with 24.5 percent.
“You want to see a change in strength”
A clear signal, according to SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Schulz, who is also Germany’s finance minister.
Many citizens voted for the SPD because they wanted to see a change in power, and because they wanted to name the next chancellor, Olaf Schultz, shouted at Willy Brandt House in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, a massive applause.
Voters vote for a respectful society.
Many party officials in Willy-Brandt-Haus are pleased with the first numbers, although it is not entirely clear how Scholz will form a governing coalition.
– It’s absolutely insane, no one would have believed it two months ago, says Manon Luther, Vice-President of the Youth Joss Federation.
You don’t want to speculate
However, she does not want to speculate with which parties the SPD can build its government.
– He might turn. She says we are celebrating today.
Lukas Havrilac, who works with a member of the Bundestag, agrees in describing the first characters as “very good”.
It is indescribably nice to be ahead, and a reward for effort after all the hard work, he says.
Lachette Grimm: “I’m not happy”
CDU leader Armin Laschet is grim, but says that despite a historically poor election result, he will do everything in his power to form a Christian Democrat-led government.
– We cannot be happy with this result. But he says the outcome is still not very clear.
The Greens get between 14 and 15 percent of the vote and will, by all accounts, be the third largest party. It was hoped that more support would be obtained.
– But we have a mission for the future, says candidate for Chancellor Annalena Barbock, who was attributed as recently as last spring with relatively good chances of becoming a chancellor.
The left-wing party Die Linke is making a disastrous choice, and is looking to cut its support almost in half compared to 2017. At the moment, the party’s number is at 5 percent, which is also the maximum entry for the Bundestag.
The right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AFD) is around 10.5 percent as expected, slightly worse than in previous elections, while the liberal, business-friendly FDP is slightly higher, at around 11.5 percent.
FDP leader Christian Lindner does not want to give a clear answer as to whether he could consider joining a SPD-led coalition, something he previously said he was not interested in. Instead he points out that the FDP rules in many different constellations in the states, with good results.
Retreated by setbacks
For Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU), the election campaign was fraught with setbacks. Many see the unpopular candidate for chancellor Laschet as a large part of the explanation for the poor opinion numbers.
Others point to the fact that the CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU, have led the last four governments – all under Merkel – and that now is the time for something new.
Long and possibly conflict-ridden talks await now over which government will rule Germany when Merkel takes over in 16 years. On the campaign trail, Schulze did not want to rule out cooperation with Die Linke, which many interpreted as a way to pressure the FDP and Christian Lindner to join a SPD-led coalition.
It now appears that this negotiating card is not going anywhere, as the SPD, the Green Party and D-Link do not seem to have a majority in the Bundestag. Lindner has two alternatives: accept Schulze’s offer, or invest everything in the so-called Jamaica-led coalition led by Lachet with the CDU/CSU, the FDP and the Greens. This presupposes that the Greens are on the train – the party’s top candidate in the elections has openly said that she prefers to cooperate with the SPD.
So when can the next government be in place?
“We must do everything we can to ensure we are ready for Christmas,” Schultz told ARD.
– Yes, certainly before Christmas, Lachette fills up.
If that doesn’t work, Merkel will replace Helmut Kohl as the longest-serving chancellor ever.
Facts: The electoral process in Germany
Some 60.4 million of Germany’s 83 million people are eligible to vote in this year’s elections to the German parliament (Bundestag). Each voter received two votes: a first vote (Erstimme) and a second vote (Zweitstimme).
The first vote for a candidate is cast in one of the 299 constituencies, and all of them can send a representative to the Bundestag. This election is the so-called one-man majority election, which means that only one person per constituency – the person with the most votes – is sent to Berlin, based on the so-called direct mandate.
The second vote is taken on a party, more specifically on a list prepared by parties at the state level. These elections are proportional, and also govern the number of seats in the Bundestag that the party receives in total.
If a party wins more direct seats than it is entitled to with respect to the proportion of second votes, the party gets so-called additional seats. In order not to lose proportionality, other parties will also get more mandates, the so-called parity mandates, so that the distribution better reflects the result of the list election, that is, second votes.
This system means that the number of seats in the Bundestag can vary. However, the lowest number is 598. The barrier to entry into the Bundestag is five percent.
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