Saturday, October 23

Polling stations open in Germany

Polling stations are now open throughout Germany.

Polling stations are now open throughout Germany.

The electoral colleges of Germany they were open at 06.00 GMT this Sunday to proceed to the general elections in this country, the country with the largest demographic weight in the European Union (EU), and which will draw the end of the ‘era of Angela Merkel, after 16 years in power.

More than 60 million citizens with the right to vote were summoned to the polls, which will be open until six in the afternoon.

The latest polls present a slight advantage of one or two points for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of the vice chancellor and finance minister Olaf Scholz, in front of the conservative candidate and Merkel’s co-religionist, Armin Laschet. The elections are therefore presented in uncertain result, after a campaign marked by trend changes in polls.

In March, the polls placed Los Verdes, led by Annalena Baerbock, in the first position in voting intention. From there the conservative bloc went on to climb positions, after the centrist Laschet was appointed as a candidate, while Scholz seemed condemned to the third position.

The Situation suddenly changed in favor of the Social Democrats, between the end of August and the beginning of September. Forecasts began to skyrocket in favor of Scholz as a solid favorite, up to five points ahead of Laschet. In the final stretch, the distances narrowed, which together with the fragmentation of the vote suggests that the future government will be a tripartite, whoever is leading it.

The average percentage given to the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is 25%, compared to 22% of the conservative bloc made up of the Christian Democratic Union and its sister Social Christian Union (CDU / CSU) of Bavaria. The Greens are in third place, with 16% for the Greens, while the Liberal Party (FDP) and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) are forecast 11%. The group of parties closes above 5%, the minimum to obtain seats, La Izquierda, with 6%.

Several formulas are given as possible for the creation of the next government of Germany, ruled out, unlikely, a reissue of the grand coalition between conservatives and social democrats.

One can theoretically combine Scholz’s SPD with Greens and Liberals; another can match Social Democrats with Greens and The Left, very controversial. Another formula may be a coalition of conservatives with Greens and liberals, an option that was tried four years ago but which, due to the latest statements by their leader, Christian Lindner, seems to be reopening. There is only totally discarded as an ally by the rest of the parties the far-right, AfD.

The first voting estimates will be broadcast by the two national public television networks, ARD and ZDF, immediately after the closing of the schools and based on exit polls. Shortly after, the voting projections will begin to be broadcast. The Electoral Commission has warned that final results may be delayed, given the high percentage of vote by mail, which may be at a new all-time high. In 2017, the previous generals, 28.6% of voters did so by mail. The participation rate was 76.2%.

This Sunday regional elections are also held in the city-state of Berlin, as well as in the ‘Land’ of Mecklenburg-Antepomerania, in the northeast, both of Social Democratic dominion.

A meeting has also been convened in the German capital popular consultation on expropriations of large real estate, driven by a citizen initiative to try to curb the price of housing.

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