As German Far Right Sees Surge In Support, Merkel’s Conservatives Suffer Worst Election Result Since 1949

Provisional election results in Germany point to a worse-than-expected majority for the German chancellor even as Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc will be the largest party in the next German parliament.

33 percent of the vote was won by Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister-party the Christian Social Union (CSU). But lower than recent polling and down from 41.5 percent in the last election in 2013 is this result even though this vote majority would make them the largest parliamentary group.

Merkel said she was happy that it had achieved the main goals of the campaign and her party had hoped for a better result at the federal election while speaking after the exit polls. he vowed to win back voters from the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Noting a new post-war low and slumping to 20.5 percent was the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), which are currently in a coalition with Merkel. It was a “bitter day” for Germany’s social democrats, party leader Martin Schulz said. he would seek re-election as party leader in December and the result meant it was clear the party should go into opposition, he added.

With a 12.6 percent of the vote, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) will enter parliament for the first time and it finished third. the first nationalist, right-wing party to enter the German parliament since World War II will be the AfD which was founded only in 2013.

Mopping up voters on both sides of the political spectrum who feel disenfranchised and disaffected by Merkel’s policies over recent years, the AfD has become something of a protest party in Germany, as it campaigned on an anti-immigrant, anti-euro stance.

According to some analysts, from Tuesday, when the full results would be announced, looking to form a coalition with rival parties which could take months would be Merkel’s conservative bloc. While leader of the pro-business FDP party Christian Lindner said that it would require a change of course from the German chancellor, it indicated that it would be open to coalition talks with Merkel’s conservatives as the party looks set to win 10.7 percent of the vote.

“As anticipated, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) fared better than predicted in the final opinion surveys. A disastrous result for the Social Democrats (SPD) means that the party of Merkel’s challenger Martin Schulz will go into opposition – and that CDU/CSU, the liberal FDP and the Greens will have to begin talks to form a so-called Jamaica coalition, Germany’s first four-party government in decades,” Carsten Nickel, deputy director of research at Teneo Intelligence, predicted in a research note on Sunday evening.

“While this government might at times produce noise, it will continue a centrist course, which will include a pragmatic and incremental approach to euro zone build-out with France.”
The main item to watch as coalition talks unfold would be the euro zone build-out from a market perspective, he added. The colors of the political parties involved is the reason for the naming of the so-called “Jamaica coalition”. This was seen as the most likely scenario before the vote took place.

(Adapted from CNBC)

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