Friday, December 3

Germans are called to the polls to choose the post-Merkel course

Angela Merkel y Armin Laschet.

Angela Merkel y Armin Laschet.

The German political parties They try this Saturday to scratch the votes of the undecided for the Sunday elections, which mark the end of the Angela Merkel era, and with the polls in the key of practical technical tie between social democrats and conservatives.

The Germans have fed the surveys since the beginning of the year with data that have made the sounding curves a real roller coaster: on the eve of the consultation the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz and the conservative Armin Laschet arrive almost evenly at the finish line.

If in spring Annalena Baerbock’s The Greens could be seen as protagonists of a historical change, their star comes dull to autumn, despite the challenge of the climate emergency highlighted by the tragic summer floods, with unforced errors that left their leader on the sidelines of the race.

In recent weeks, Scholz – Finance Minister in Merkel’s outgoing Grand Coalition government – saw himself the winner with enough margin to command in the coalitions that the parties will have to negotiate, most likely with three members.

Advantage for Scholtz

This Friday, however, the polls showed that the Social Democrat can barely have a one-point advantage over LaschetAnd if the possible error margins of the polls are taken into account, not even that, which is why the term “technical tie” entered this weekend fully in the German pre-election language.

The combination of a dozen polls published this Saturday by the weekly ‘Der Spiegel’ gives average percentages in which no combination of two parties reaches a majority: 25% for the Social Democratic Party (SPD), 22% for CDU / CSU (Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union), 16% for The Greens, 11% for both the Liberal Party (FDP) and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and 6% for the Left.

Given the situation, and that the vote of the undecided was calculated in the last days around 30-40%, the leaders continue this Saturday in campaign: for example Laschet, with Angela Merkel in his native Aachen (west); the liberal Christian Linder (FDP) is also on tour in the west of the country and Scholz near the capital.

Coalition formulas

Several formulas are given as possible for the creation of the next Government of Germany, excluding, as unlikely, a reissue of the Grand Coalition between Conservatives and Social Democrats that Merkel has chaired for the last four years, because her majority would be small.

One could theoretically combine SPD with Greens and Liberals, although the differences between the latter two complicate it; another would be made up of the Social Democrats with Greens and The Left, heavily attacked by conservatives, which warn of the ‘red’ danger if that option were given.

Conservatives could join forces with Greens and Liberals, an option that was tried four years ago but which, based on the latest statements by their leader, Christian Lindner, seems to be reopening.

Clear exclusions: no one wants to have the far-right AfD and the conservatives exclude any coalition with the Left, which also according to the latest polls would be almost even in danger of not reaching 5% You need to enter the Bundestag (lower house of Parliament).

There are weeks or months of negotiations ahead, during which the current affairs of the Government will continue to be managed by Merkel -who will no longer have a seat after the elections after having held it for 31 years-, which could even exceed the record of permanence in office that has his predecessor, Helmut Kohl, if he were to remain Chancellor on December 17.

The average of the last decades to find a government agreement is around five or six weeks, but there is the precedent of 2017, when it took five and a half months of negotiations to reach the agreement to form the Grand Coalition.

Merkel will leave office with good press outside Germany, a surprising circumstance especially considering how popular it now seems to be in a South of Europe that blamed it for the austerity after the financial crisis of 2008 that inflated the unemployment figures with millions. In Germany, however, perception is less enthusiasticAccording to a survey carried out by the Civey house and published this weekend by the “Augsburger Allgemeine”, 52% of those consulted will not miss the chancellor compared to 38% who say they will miss it when she leaves.

Among the candidates, Scholz stands out as the one that voters see the most as chancellor but in the very tight race that he disputes against Laschet in the last stages of these elections, the voters do not directly designate the head of government and whoever arrives the winner at the end of this mountain Russia does not have to be Merkel’s successor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *