German political poll tracker

What outcomes are likely if there are fresh elections?

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FT Germany poll tracker
FT Germany poll tracker

Angela Merkel is facing the worst crisis of her career after talks on forming a new coalition government broke down, raising the prospect of fresh elections in Germany.

The FT’s time-weighted average of seven German pollsters’ latest polls of voting intention shows what the likely outcome would be if another election were (hypothetically) held this Sunday.

The current situation

Ms Merkel’s centre-right CDU/CSU bloc and her coalition partners in the last parliament, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), both lost ground In September’s election.

The election created a seven-party Bundestag for the first time since the 1950s. Only two coalitions among the parties appear possible, but both have now been ruled out. The most likely consequence is are either the creation of Germany’s first post-war minority government — or fresh elections.

Germany Bundestag hemicycle
Germany Bundeestag hemicycle

The parties

Possible coalitions

If new elections were held this Sunday, polling indicates these coalitions might be possible:

German elections: likelihood of potential coalitions based on seat distribution based on latest polls
German elections: likelihood of potential coalitions based on seat distribution based on latest polls

German coalitions are often described in terms of the party colours of the participating parties. Unless there is a new election, there are three possiblities:

  • Grand Coalition: Alliances of the centre-right CDU/CSU and centre-left SPD, like the current government, have become more common in German politics as fragmentation has made it difficult for either major party to govern with just one of the smaller parties. However, the SPD ruled out a new “GroKo” following the both parties’ disasterous showing in September’s election.

  • ‘Jamaica’: A three-way coalition with the colours of the Jamaican flag — CDU/CSU, FDP and Greens — has formed state governments, but it would be a novelty at the federal level. Talks to form a Jamaica pact broke down on November 19. Could the FDP be persuaded to come back to the negotiating table?

  • A minority government: Post-war Germany has had minority governments only very briefly, so this would be a novelty. It would most likely be likely be “Black-Green” featuring CDU/CSU and the Greens. A “Black-Yellow” variety featuring the FDP would be a repeat of Ms Merkel’s second term from 2009 to 2013.

Methodology

At each point in time, the FT poll-of-polls includes the most recent voting-intention poll from seven pollsters, compiled by Wahlrecht.de. The average of their results is weighted to give more recent polls greater influence on the net score.

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