Sunday, 22 September 2013

The curse of Merkel

Angela Merkel's CDU has had an amazing night. Current projections have the CDU/CSU just short of an absolute majority - unheard of in modern German national politics. She remains German chancellor and the 8%+ increase in the Union's vote is a clear vote of confidence.

That said, Merkel's current and favoured coalition partner crashed out of parliament - the FPD's worst ever performance. 

If Merkel's Union is unable to manage an absolute majority, the next week will be dominated by behind the scenes negotiations and dealmaking to form a functioning coalition government. Both the SPD and Greens, possible coalition partners, had a disappointing night and could serve as junior partners to Merkel over the next parliament. 

But after a 2009 election result that saw the then-junior coalition partner SPD score their worst post-war result followed by today's similar result for the FDP - no party can be blamed for having reservations to join a third Merkel government. 


  1. What do you make of the impact of AfD on the result? Were they a cause of the failure of the FDP to reach the Bundestag? Were they drawing any votes from the CDU/CSU?

  2. While it's true that if even a fraction of the 430,000 voters that moved from FDP to AfD had stayed with the FDP (see, they would have managed to stay in parliament, I doubt the lack of an AfD would have changed that.

    The AfD is a protest party - for the time being - drawing almost as many votes from Leftist voters as the FDP, two groups opposed on practically everything - apart from keeping the Euro. I can't help but feel that these voters would have wandered elsewhere or simply wouldn't have voted if it weren't for the AfD.

    It's also interesting to note that more than 3 times as many former CDU/CSU voters died than moved to the AfD.

    Of course, I'm dismissive at the moment - but the party is less than a year old and there the Euro crisis is far from over. The next few years should be interesting.

    1. Fascinating. I wonder if someone has come up with a similar statistic about UKIP? eg, "Actuarial tables predict 8% of UKIP supporters will die before the 2015 general election and this will save the Conservatives 7 seats in marginal constituencies..."