The election race in Germany is too close to be announced as the major narrow-mindedness of the SPD

The election race in Germany is too close to be announced as the major narrow-mindedness of the SPD

Construction workers put up a barrier in front of an election campaign poster for Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party leader and chancellor candidate Armin Lasquet.

John McDougall | AFP | Getty Images

With Germany just days away from voting in Sunday’s federal election, the latest poll shows that the gap between the two main candidates is narrowing.

While the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) remains in the lead, a new Insa poll for the German newspaper Bild reveals that the gap is narrowing. The SPD now leads just three percentage points over the Conservative Party.

The center-left SPD has seen a dramatic increase in popularity since August, with party chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz doing well in his election campaign. The party’s manifesto – which includes left-wing fiscal and social policies, an EU stance, and flexible rules for debt cancellation – has also drawn in voters who want a change from the status quo when Merkel leaves office .

Polls showed the SPD won 25% of the vote, compared to 22% for the coalition of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union (CDU / CSU), the ruling party of outgoing Chancellor Angela. Merkel, followed by 15% for the Green Party. .

This indicates that the election is very close to the call, although German voters favored stability in previous elections, meaning the SPD’s lead could worsen as Election Day approaches.

Nonetheless, the SPD’s Scholz – a seasoned politician who is currently finance minister and chancellor – appears to be more popular with the public than his CDU / CSU rival Armin Laschet, who was elected as Merkel’s coalition successor earlier this year. was selected in.

debate win

Three televised debates between top contenders Scholz, Laschet and Greens candidate Annalena Barbock saw the public continue to vote for Scholz as the winner of in-depth and often belligerent discussions on issues ranging from climate protection to security and taxes.

Sunday night’s final debate was no exception, with a Snap poll placing Scholz as the big winner (according to a Forsa poll, 42% of viewers thought so), while Lachette got 27% and Barrock got 25%. . Pass.

Perhaps a sign of things to come for post-election coalition talks (no party should win enough seats to rule on its own), both Scholz and Berbock suggested during the debate that would be positive . If the CDU / CSU became the opposition rather than part of a new coalition. However, both have indicated a willingness for Germany to negotiate with all parties except the far-right option.

Which party will be part of this future coalition government collects experts for the votes because there does not seem to be a clear and easy to obtain coalition.

Various tripartite formations are envisaged. For example, the “Green-Red-Red” coalition of the Greens with the SPD and the extreme left party Die Linke, or perhaps the “Traffic light” coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the Liberal Free Democratic Party. (FDP).

“The interesting story of this election is how unpredictable it has been in recent weeks to determine who will lead the country after the election,” Gerlinde Groitl, assistant professor of international politics and transatlantic relations at the University of Regensburg. Recount. .

“The FDP really wants to be part of a coalition government, but they have various gaps to fill with the Social Democrats – they are very far in terms of fiscal policy, social policy, etc. – and we really have few coalition options. . Table from next Sunday.

There is also the question of whether Die Linke (who called for the abolition of NATO, the Western military alliance) will join any coalition, a prospect which may be unpleasant for many central German voters. or center-right. make mistakes.

Indeed, the CDU / CSU candidate Lachette used the televised debates as an opportunity to stir up public concerns about the possible inclusion of Die Linke in a future government. Neither Scholz nor Barbock have denied working with Die Linke, although Scholz said any party in the German coalition should join NATO.

Groitl noted that although the SPD has gone “quite to the left,” the party’s candidates were more on the conservative side of the spectrum within the Scholz party and even more to be bridged before the formation of such a left coalition. There will be gaps.

He predicted “tough talks” in all coalition talks after this election, which “could go on for some time.”

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