Polling stations open – close expected result |

Berlin (dpa) – The general elections have started. About 60,000 polling stations opened at 8 a.m. on Sunday. Almost 60.4 million citizens are called upon to cast their first and second votes before 6 p.m. and thus decide on the composition of the new Bundestag.

About 2.8 million citizens are participating for the first time in a federal election. In total, 47 parties are standing for election. According to recent polls, it could be a very close race. In parallel with the federal elections, a new Land parliament is elected in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the Land parliament in Berlin.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for a vote before the polling stations opened at 8 a.m. “Every vote counts – your vote counts. So I ask you: vote today! “Steinmeier wrote in a guest article for” Bild am Sonntag “. Democracy lives on interference and participation. “Whoever participates will be heard. If you don’t vote, you let others decide for you, ”says Steinmeier.

The union under pressure

The Union and its candidate for Chancellor Armin Laschet were under immense pressure ahead of the elections. Chancellor Angela Merkel (both CDUs) will no longer run after 16 years in office. Given the large number of undecided voters, the election result is considered open. However, it seems likely that Germany will be governed by a tripartite alliance in the future. According to polls, various tripartite alliances are currently possible, in addition to a traffic light coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, an alliance of the SPD, the Greens and the left, as well as a coalition led by the CDU coalition with the Greens and the FDP.

In public opinion polls for the federal election, the Union was recently slightly behind the SPD with chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz. The SPD came in at 25 to 26 percent, the Union at 22 to 25. In third place were the Greens with 16 to 17 percent. It is followed by the FDP (10.5 to 12%), the AfD (10) and the Left (5 to 6).

However, opinion polls are just snapshots of political mood and say nothing about the outcome of the election. This is even more true for this election due to the large number of voters still undecided.

Since the 2017 federal election, the CDU and CSU have emerged as the most powerful force with 32.9%. The SPD came in at 20.5%, the AfD was the third strongest force with 12.6%. He was followed by the FDP (10.7%), the left (9.2) and the Greens with 8.9%.

Many more postal votes

It is expected that this time around, more people than ever will vote by mail. According to the Federal Return Office, this time it could be at least 40 percent. In 2017, 28.6% of those eligible to vote had already resorted to postal voting. Four years ago the turnout was 76.2%.

It is also likely that the next Bundestag will again be significantly bigger. Parliament currently has 709 members, making it bigger than ever. The standard size of the Bundestag is 598 deputies – 299 deputies directly elected from constituencies with the first vote and 299 deputies recruited via state lists. However, this number is increasing due to surplus and compensation mandates.

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