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.
The centre-right CDU/CSU bloc is an alliance of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU). In September’s election, they remained the he largest bloc, but slumped to 33 per cent of the vote.
The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) suffered their worst post-war result in September, winning just 20.5 per cent of the vote. Led by Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament, they announced they would go into opposition immediately after the vote.
The right-wing, populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) was the big winner of September’s election, entering the Bundestag for the first time with 12.6 per cent of the vote. The party, led by Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland, has been beset by infighting. Former leader Frauke Petry even left the party immediately after winning a seat in the election.
The free-market liberal Free Democratic party (FDP) returned to the Bundestag with 10.7 per cent of the vote in September having narrowly failed to reach the 5 per cent threshold in 2013. The party, led by 38-year-old Christian Lindner, was the junior coalition partner in Ms Merkel’s second term but walked out on coalition talks on November 19.
The gains among young, urban voters in the west.(Linke) traces its origins to East Germany’s communists and leftwingers who split from the SPD. It marginally improved its result in September, offsetting losses to the AfD in eastern Germany with
The Green (Grüne) party gained slightly in September to 8.9 per cent of the vote. Co-chairs Katrin Göring-Eckardt and Cem Özdemir appeared on the cusp of ministerial roles before the breakdown of coalition talks with the CDU and FDP.
If new elections were held this Sunday, polling indicates these coalitions might be possible:
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.
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.