Current reports: SPD and CDU are fighting for the strongest parliamentary group in the Bundestag

Sun, September 26, 2021 9:41 pm BST

First published on Sun, September 26, 2021, 07/15 BST

9:41 p.m. BST21: 41

The analysis also showed that the SPD achieved large increases, especially among older voters: 17% of the SDP voters were under 30 (two points less than in the last election in 2017), 19% were between 30 and 44 (plus three points), 27% were 45-59 years old (plus six points) and 35% were over 60 (plus 11 points).

9:34 p.m. BST21: 34

First of all, all parties hold so-called “exploratory talks”. In this unlimited initial phase, nothing stands in the way of the parties to hold all coalition talks in parallel – although it is traditionally required that the largest party invites smaller parties to talks.

Armin Laschet, the candidate for Chancellor of Merkel’s center-right CDU -CSU-Bloc, however, has said that the Conservatives would “do anything to lead the next government”, even if the preliminary results put them behind the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).

Also SPD candidate Olaf Scholz, the country’s finance minister, said the voters wanted a change and that “the next chancellor should be Olaf Scholz”. The Greens have convened a party congress for October 2, at which they could decide with whom to initiate exploratory talks.

The business-friendly FDP, which like the Greens could play a kingmaker role, has preferred a coalition with conservatives and Greens, but a three-party alliance with the SPD and the Greens remains on the table.

The parties will hold leadership meetings on Monday. The newly elected MPs from both parties will also hold their first meetings next week, with the SPD and CDU-CSU expected to meet on Tuesday. The newly elected parliament must hold its constituent session no later than 30 days after the election, on October 26th.

If two or three parties agree in principle to form an alliance, they must begin formal coalition negotiations in which meet various working groups to discuss political issues.

At the end of these negotiations, the parties decide who heads which ministry and sign a coalition agreement. This phase is also unlimited in time, the outgoing government – Angela Merkel’s administration – holds the position in the meantime.

The parties then nominate before the official vote in the Bundestag who they would like to become Chancellor.

9:25 p.m. BST21: 25

Olaf Scholz said in an interview with the evening news shortly after his first beer of the evening in the SPD party headquarters that he was confident that his party had won the election and that the citizens of Germany had “sent a signal” that they had I did not want the CDU to form the next government.

When asked by the moderator how he wanted to win over the business-friendly FDP, since the left of his party was against the alliance, he said the SPD was a lively people’s party that practices a “pragmatic policy” focus on “more respect in our society, modernization of society and … climate protection”.

When asked how Germany could be modernized in a coalition with a party that rules out tax increases, Scholz said his plans depended on private investments – from expanding wind power to reforming the steel and cement sectors to the auto industry.

Could he rule out the idea of ​​re-forming a grand coalition with the CDU / CSU, as happened in 2017 after months of wrangling? Scholz said that this last round only came about because the negotiations between the various parties “did not go well”.

He said that because the German voters had signaled that they did not want the CDU in government, he would not think of a grand coalition. He said he would conduct the negotiations “with respect” in order for the negotiations to be successful.

9:20 p.m. BST21: 20

Reuters has a summary of the reactions of party leaders and chancellor candidates – and a brutal analysis by the editor of Germany’s best-selling newspaper:

Many voters put their crosses on the SPD because they want the next Chancellor to be Olaf Scholz … We are now ahead in all the polls. It is an encouraging message and a clear mandate to ensure that we get a good, pragmatic government for Germany.

This is a head-to-head race. We will do everything we can to form a conservatively led government, because Germany needs a sustainable coalition that will modernize our country. It is not about an arithmetical majority, but about the merging of different political positions into a coalition. I’m ready for that.

We wanted more. We didn’t succeed, partly because of mistakes at the beginning of the campaign – mistakes I made. We have been elected by a great many young people in this country; among them we are the clear leading force. We need massive investments in our country. Our suggestion is to increase the debt: break an investment rule so that investments can be made.

The election results are not easy to read. None of the former popular parties has more than 25-26% of the vote. So 75% of Germans did not vote for the party that will appoint the next chancellor. Maybe the Greens and the FDP should talk to each other first. The greatest political overlap is between the conservative bloc and the FDP. For us, the ideas of tax increases, of a loosening of the debt brake are not acceptable.

9:08 p.m. BST21: 08

At 10 p.m. local time, the narrow lead of the center-left SPD on its center-right rival CDU / CSU continues to grow, according to both projections by the public broadcasters ARD and ZDF.

Based on an amalgam of initial elections and partial counting of polling stations and postal votes, ARD / Infratest now have the party of Finance Minister Olaf Scholz with 25.8% of the votes and 205 seats in the 730-seat Bundestag compared to 24.2% and 195 seats for Armin Laschet’s CDU / CSU.

The same preliminary results bring potential coalition partners the Greens 114 seats and the liberal FDP 91 MPs.

8:37 p.m. BST20: 37

According to a recently published ZDF survey, a majority of Germans (55%) would prefer a center-left SPD government, compared to 36% a CDU / CSU leadership.

This is more or less that The opposite of the result after the same question was asked after the last election in 2017, when 52 percent were for a CDU-led government and 36 percent for an SPD-led government.

8:34 p.m. BST20: 34

This would be a premium for the books: The Berliner Zeitung reports that the candidate of the conservative CDU / CSU – and Angela Merkel’s favorite successor – Armin Laschet, may not get a seat in parliament (see 4.15pm entry below for an explanation how the devilishly complicated German electoral system works).

Little things: Armin Laschet may not make it into the Bundestag. In his home country he is at the top of his party list, but the CDU’s votes may not be enough to get more seats above the direct candidates. Would mean that he could not lead the opposition if he is not Chancellor

8:21 p.m. BST 8:21 p.m.

It is too early to say which coalition we will get in Germany. But 2 things seem already clear& I find them important after the Corona crisis: High voter turnout & no profits for extremist parties. Our democracy works and the center holds. This is most important to me at the moment.

8:17 p.m. BST20: 17

The gap between the SPD and CDU / CSU is widening, as official polling station results are received and postal votes are counted.

The latest projections from the two public broadcasters ARD and ZDF were shortly after 9 p.m. local time the center-left party each by 1.2 percentage points (25.7% to 24.5%) and the other by 1.5 points (26% to 24.5%) ahead. ).

This would give the center-left party 204 seats in the 730-seat Bundestag and the CDU / CSU 197 seats.

8:08 p.m. BST20: 08

Editor-in-chief Manuela Kasper-Claridge, editor-in-chief of Deutsche Welle, says in a broad-based opinion piece that the times of caution and marginal compromise, which were shaped by Germany’s previous grand coalition between the CU / CSU and the SPD, are over and German voters want changes.

Great challenges of the 21st. Without them, nothing works – and that’s a good thing, “she said.

The level of the Greens’ share of the vote shows” German voters are worried about climate change “and means that the party will undoubtedly “go into the coalition talks with a lot of self-confidence and demand an expensive dowry”. However, it is also important to the Germans how much big changes would cost, said Kasper-Claridge – that is why the liberal FDP must also be involved will. “They see themselves as the big deregulators and could torpedo some of the wishes of the Greens,” she warned.

If that means that the coalition talks will be tough and their outcome is still uncertain, then it is very clear “the extent of the CDU’s defeat.” / CSU. Such a dramatic fall cannot be glossed over, the worst result since 1949. After 16 years in government, the so-called ‘Union’ made up of the CDU and CSU is ripe for resistance. “