Berlin (dpa) – Strong gains for the Social Democrats, a historic debacle for the Union – but no clear picture yet: Armin Laschet’s CDU / CSU and Olaf Scholz’s SPD fought closely in the elections federal.
After 16 years in power under Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Union has plunged to a record low, but according to early projections it is only just behind the SPD, which was recently well ahead in the polls. With a record result, the Greens occupy third place ahead of the FDP, AfD and the Left. Laschet and Scholz both claimed in the evening to form a government under their leadership.
ARD extrapolation considers SPD to be the strongest parliamentary group
According to a new projection from the ARD, the SPD could become the strongest parliamentary group in the future Bundestag. According to new figures from 7:35 p.m., the Social Democrats could win 200 seats and would be the first time in an ARD election night screening ahead of the Union, which would reach 198 seats. The third group would therefore be the Greens with 113 seats. The calculation is based on a parliament with a total of 730 seats.
According to the extrapolation of the ARD, the SPD rose to 25.2% from 7:35 p.m. in terms of shares with voting rights. The Union accounted for 24.6 percent. He was followed by the Greens with 14.3%, the FDP with 11.6% and the AfD with 10.8%. The left was therefore at 5.0%.
The formation of a complex government is 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 terms of calculations, several constellations are possible.
Scholz claims the Chancellery for himself
Scholz sees a clear electoral mandate for the SPD. Many voters had made it clear that they wanted a “change of government” and that the next chancellor should be Olaf Scholz. It is likely that Scholz is aiming for a traffic light alliance with the Greens and the FDP, as has been the case in Rhineland-Palatinate since 2016.
FDP leader Christian Lindner has so far expressed strong reservations against such a coalition within the federal government, preferring the union as a partner. Election night, however, highlighted the similarities with the Greens. “And that’s why there can be no more in Germany. Now is the time for a fresh start, ”he said.
Laschet also wants to provide the government
But Laschet also wants to try to forge a government despite the massive losses. “A voice for the Union is a voice against a left-wing federal government. And that is why we will do everything in our power to form a federal government under the leadership of the Union, ”he said. “Germany now needs a future coalition which will modernize our country.”
CDU Secretary General Paul Ziemiak spoke of a “future coalition” made up of the Union, the Greens and the FDP. CSU leader Markus Söder also spoke out in favor of an “alliance of reason” under the leadership of Laschet: “We strongly believe in the idea of a Jamaican alliance”.
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.
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.
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.
Baerbock disappointed with the choice
On election night Baerbock was disappointed. “We wanted more,” she admitted. It didn’t work, also because of my own mistakes. “This country needs a climate government,” Baerbock said. “We now continue to fight for this with all of you.” Their co-chairman, Robert Habeck, left all options open to his party in possible coalition negotiations. The Greens have “a good chance of being strong in the next government,” Habeck said. “We want to rule.”
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 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.