Berlin (dpa) – In the Bundestag elections on Sunday, the CDU / CSU and the SPD deliver the tight race expected according to initial projections. On the ARD and the ZDF, the Union and the Social Democrats were almost on a par with the Greens around 6:45 p.m.
After 16 years in power under Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Union has plunged to an all-time high, but according to projections it is only just behind the SPD, which was recently well ahead in the polls. The Greens are in third place ahead of the FDP, the AfD and the left. The SPD is now claiming the formation of a government for itself. For its part, the Union considers that the option of a coalition with the Greens and the FDP is possible.
According to the forecasts of the ARD and the ZDF, the SPD will improve to 25 to 26% (2017: 20.5%). The CDU / CSU drops to 24 to 25 percent (32.9). With Annalena Baerbock as candidate for chancellor, the Greens report 14.5 to 15% (8.9). The FDP improves to 11 to 12 percent (10.7). The AfD, so far the third strongest force, holds 10 to 11 percent (12.6). The left slips to 5 percent (9.2). The South Schleswig Voters’ Association (SSW), as a party of national minorities exempt from the five per cent barrier, can send a member of the Bundestag according to the ARD forecasts.
The majority in the Bundestag will change considerably, but the actual distribution of seats depends, among other things, on the entry of the left into parliament. Election researchers also point out that the 6 p.m. forecast may be more uncertain than before due to the large number of mail-order voters.
Forming a government will be difficult
A complicated government formation is thus emerging. The only conceivable bipartite alliance would be a new grand coalition, which neither the SPD nor the Union wants. Therefore, it is likely that there will be a three-way alliance in the federal government for the first time. In mathematical terms, several constellations are possible, the Greens and the FDP being decisive.
SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil plans to form a government with the Social Democrats. “We knew it would be a tight election campaign,” Klingbeil said. “But very clearly: the SPD has the mandate of the government. We want Olaf Scholz to become Chancellor. “
CDU Secretary General Paul Ziemiak wants to probe a Union-led government despite poor performance. “We have a credo in the Union: first the country, then the party”, he declared shortly after the closing of the polling stations. According to the first figures, there is a possibility for a “future coalition” made up of the Union, the Greens and the FDP.
Such a Jamaican alliance, as it rules in Schleswig-Holstein, failed in the federal government in 2017 because of the FDP. This time the Greens are more likely to slow down. The differences between the Greens and the FDP are particularly important when it comes to financial and climate policy.
Should the SPD become the most powerful force, it is likely that Scholz will seek an alliance with the Greens and the FDP, as has been the case in Rhineland-Palatinate since 2016, but with the FDP as the second most powerful force. FDP leader Christian Lindner has however expressed strong reservations against such a coalition within the federal government, he prefers the union as a partner.
The runner-up could also forge an alliance
It is not excluded that Laschet or Scholz try to ally with the Greens and the FDP when they came second. It would not be a novelty. Willy Brandt became chancellor of a social-liberal coalition in 1969, although the SPD only came in second. It was the same with Helmut Schmidt in 1976 and 1980. Until now the last chancellor of the SPD was Gerhard Schröder, who reigned with the Greens from 1998 to 2005. From 2005 to 2009 and since 2013 the SPD was a junior partner in a grand coalition under Merkel.
If the results are sufficient, a red-green-red coalition would also be possible. They view much of the SPD and the Greens with skepticism, also because of major differences with the left on foreign and security policy.
According to forecasts, the left must fear missing the five percent hurdle, but is likely to come back to the Bundestag anyway. If she defends at least three of her last five direct terms, in accordance with the basic term clause, she can return to parliament based on her second vote result.
Result for the Union a blow
For the Union, the outcome at the end of the Merkel era is definitely a blow – not only to the CDU, but also to the CSU, whose party leader Markus Söder was beaten in a power struggle with Laschet. for the candidacy to the chancellor in the spring. According to the first figures of Infratest dimap, the CSU in Bavaria has fallen to 33% (2017: 38.8). CSU General Secretary Markus Blume admitted on Bavarian TV that the CSU result was “unsatisfactory”.
The Union has clearly carried out investigations over long periods of time. Due to the rise of the Greens, a black-green alliance has long been considered probable. In the election campaign, however, Laschet made mistakes, including his laughter in the disaster area of North Rhine-Westphalia, while Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke of the flood victims.
It was a similar experience for the Green Chancellor candidate Baerbock. After her party temporarily led the polls in the spring, it lost significantly in the summer when Baerbock had to admit, among other things, resume errors and extra income that was reported too late. Allegations of plagiarism in connection with her book also bothered her. Federal Greens director Michael Kellner was disappointed. “We made some big gains, but it’s hard for me to be really happy with this increase,” he said. The expectations were significantly higher.
The surge of the AfD, which first moved to the Bundestag in 2017 and became the third party at the time, seems to have stopped for the time being. The co-leader of the AfD parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Alice Weidel, described her party’s performance as “very solid”.
The biggest Bundestag of all time
The new Bundestag will probably be bigger than ever. In the last legislature, it had already reached the record size of 709 deputies, the target being 598 seats. The Union and the SPD had only decided on a small reform of the electoral law in 2020. A major reform is only planned for the elections of 2025. A commission must make proposals in this direction by mid-year. 2023.
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As the count goes on, you will receive an overview of the direct candidates in Saxony and all the other Länder in our election data presentation. You will also find out how the votes were conducted in the towns and municipalities of Saxony.