Berlin (dpa) – After the general elections, the difficult struggle to form a government begins.
According to the results of the count of all constituencies, the SPD has indeed become the most powerful force and wants to appoint Olaf Scholz as the next chancellor – but despite its historic defeat, the Union also claims to lead the government. Both are based on an alliance with the Greens and the FDP. The courtship for potential mates has already started.
First, the party committees will discuss the outcome of today’s election. The Union is looking for a strategy to save power after the electoral debacle. For their defeated candidate for chancellor, CDU leader Armin Laschet, political survival may depend on it. The parties want to analyze the results in front of the media after the deliberations. The new parliamentary group is already forming within the FDP.
In the running for the Greens and the FDP
In mathematical terms, the only possible bipartite alliance is a new grand coalition, which neither the SPD nor the Union want. This is why it is likely that there will be a three-way alliance in the federal government for the first time since the 1950s. Laschet has already assured all of his partners that they should definitely be visible with their own positions in a government under him.
FDP leader Christian Lindner suggested on election night that the Liberals and Greens meet upstream to first probe intersections and points of conflict between them before exploring them. His deputy Wolfgang Kubicki supported this in the newspapers of the media group Funke. Lindner would prefer to form a coalition with Laschet, the Greens with Scholz. At first, it was not clear when the green-yellow talks would begin.
There are no formal rules for forming a government. Usually the loudest part invites speaking. But there were also elections in which the second strongest force formed a coalition. So there is nothing wrong with having exploratory talks everywhere.
Now officially: this is how it happened
According to the tally, the SPD improves to 25.7% (2017: 20.5%). The CDU / CSU drops to 24.1% (32.9%). The Greens climb with the candidate for chancellor Annalena Baerbock to 14.8% (8.9%). The FDP increases to 11.5% (10.7). The AfD, so far the third strongest force, holds 10.3% (12.6), but will be the strongest force in Thuringia and Saxony. The left slips 4.9 percent (9.2). However, since she is defending three of her last five direct terms, according to the basic term clause, she can still stay in the Bundestag depending on her second vote result.
The majority in the Bundestag will change considerably. The distribution of seats has not yet been announced and, according to the latest projections from the ARD and ZDF, could look like this: SPD 205 to 209 (2017: 153), CDU / CSU 194 to 196 (2017: 246), Greens 116 to 118 (67), FDP 91 to 93 (80), AfD 84 (94), Linke 39 to 40 (69). The turnout of 76.6 percent was at the level of the previous election (76.2).
What the best say
Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister Scholz started the election campaign with the SPD as a foreigner, but in recent months he has catapulted the traditional party from a bottom-up investigation into the three-way battle for the chancellery – also thanks to the errors of Laschets and Baerbocks. Scholz sees the result as a clear mandate for voters. “We want to form the next government,” he said.
On election night, Laschet spoke quite casually about the unprecedented CDU / CSU debacle, but confidently articulated his claim to power: “A voice for the Union is a voice against a left-wing federal government. That is why we will do everything in our power to form a federal government under the leadership of the Union. “
The question now is whether the SPD or the Union can forge an alliance with the Greens and the FDP – a traffic light coalition or a Jamaican coalition. Green leader Annalena Baerbock, trailed in third place behind Laschet and Scholz, did not commit and spoke of an “electoral mandate to ensure renewal in the country”.
Finish line: before Christmas
After a federal election, it usually takes one to three months for a new cabinet to be sworn in. By Christmas you were almost always done. With one exception: after the 2017 election, it took almost six months because explorations in Jamaica failed because of the FDP – in the end there was a grand coalition led by the Union. Scholz and Laschet both said she wanted to do it before Christmas.