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  • Rafael Scherzinger

Recap of the German Parliamentary Elections

In the days following the highly consequential German elections, the Millennial Agora recaps the results and looks at the road ahead for Europe's largest economy.

SPD Leader Olaf Scholz could become the next Chancellor of Germany (Photo: Stern)

It was a very important day on the 26th of September in Germany. It was the day when the country had to choose their political future by taking part in the Bundestagswahl, national elections to decide the makeup of the federal parliament. This event was greatly anticipated in Germany and across the world because it would determine the successor of Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, who has been in office for the past 16 years. While the results already came out, it is still not sure who will be the next chancellor. Right now, the two candidates with the highest likelihood of becoming the highest-ranking politician in Germany are: Olaf Scholz (SPD, or the Social Democrats) and Armin Laschet (CDU, or Christian Democratic Union, a center-right party to which Chancellor Merkel belongs).

The election in Germany relies on a 2-Level-Voting system, where the participants have two different voting possibilities on a paper sheet. On one hand, the first vote presents the parties and their politicians who seek to represent the voter in its constituency, in a first-past-the-post voting method similar to that used in the United States and United Kingdom. On the other hand, the second vote determines the new structure of the German Parliament (Bundestag) and divides its 735 seats between the running parties according to the casted votes. In the next graph, you can see the result of the seat distribution (Tip: CDU and CSU form a union):

(Photo: DW)

Statistics show that from about 61 million eligible voters around 41 million took part in the election, which is an approximate voter turnout of 76%. This number is similar to that from four years ago in the last elections and it seems like the participation rate has not changed over the course of the past years. Furthermore, because of the second votes, the results were the following:

· SPD 25,7%

· CDU/CSU 24,1%

· Grüne 14,8%

· FDP 11,5%

· AfD 10,3%

The biggest loser in this election was the CDU/CSU Union, the party that has governed over Germany for the last 16 years. The CDU itself lost 7,9% compared to 2017. The clear winners are the SPD, whose countrywide support grew by 5,2% since 2017. The German political system allows a government to be formed if a party or a coalition of parties surpass 50% of the votes from the given election. As you can see above, for that to happen, it will take at least 3 parties combined to form the next government. So far, the two most likely outcomes of the ongoing coalition negotiations between the parties are: Black-Green-Yellow (CDU/CSU-Greens-FDP) and Red-Green-Yellow (SPD-Greens-FDP). In the first instance, CDU leader Armin Laschet, in the second, SPD chairman head Olaf Scholz would become the next chancellor. From the 5 strongest parties, none are thinking about cooperating with the AfD, the far-right party in Germany.

The next months will all be about the possible line-up of the new coalition that would take over the power in the Germany. Rumours suggest this could already happen by the end of the year. Only time will tell the end result of the month-long negotiations. Until then, stay with us at the Millennial Agora.

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