Germany in coalition uncertainty after exciting elections

Sunday‘s German elections exit polls have caused the country to be in political uncertainty. Both the largest party SPD (25-26 percent) and the CDU/CSU (24-25 percent) want to form a new government coalition and provide the Chancellor for that purpose.

It is clear, however, that these elections have dramatically changed the German political landscape. After sixteen years of Chancellor Angela Merkel, the conservative union CDU/CSU has collapsed. The sister parties lost about 8 percent compared to 2017 and recorded the worst election result since World War II.

The centre-left SPD and the Greens seem to be the big winners of these elections, with around 5 and 6 percent profits compared to 2017 respectively

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now several other smaller parties are doing well, negotiations to create a viable coalition will be forms are likely to last long. The thoughts therefore go back to 2017, when it took Germany five and a half months to form a new government.

The most obvious is a coalition of the SPD, The Greens and the Liberal FDP, the preference of SPD leader and intended Chancellor Olaf Scholz, assuming the Social Democrats hold their predicted lead. However, the Liberals would prefer to enter the government with the CDU/CSU.

Should the CDU/CSU of leader Armin Laschet still roll out of the ballot boxes, the party will probably try to join forces with the Greens and the FDP. FDP leader Christian Lindner said before the election that such a coalition looks โ€œeasier than with the SPD and the Greens.โ€ Sunday night Lindner offered another possibility: The Greens and FDP together could decide which of the two big parties they support. It is expected that the Greens will then opt for the SPD.

Then there is the ‘fall option‘ for the SPD in the event that the Liberals are bothering: a coalition with The Greens and Die Linke, the country’s smaller left-wing party. This depends on whether Die Linke reaches the 5 percent electoral threshold, which is still unclear. Moreover, such a coalition would be contentious, given Die Linke‘s opposition to German NATO membership and the deployment of German troops abroad.

In an emergency, there is still the possibility of another major coalition between the CDU/CSU and the SPD, as in 2017, which led to a bitter internal battle within the SPD at the time. With Scholz as Chancellor, the sentiment within the SPD could be different, but it certainly won’t lead to cheers among the Social Democrats. Laschet, on the other hand, did not rule out the possibility during the campaign.