In Major Disappointment, Merkel Wins German Election Despite Worst Result Since 1949; AfD Surges To Enters Parliament

September 24, 2017

The German polls have officially closed, and the first exit polls numbers come in, confirming the expected fourth victory for Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU, however getting a unexpectedly low 32.5% of the vote, which according to Europe Elects was the worst result for Merkel’s CDU/CSU (EPP) since 1949. Merkel’s main challenger, the SPD, got 20%, its worst result since Nazi era 1945; furthermore, the SPD has decided to enter the opposition.

In other words, just like in France, the German establishment has been trounced:

  • Worst result for Merkel’s CDU/CSU since 1949
  • Worst result for SPD Since 1945

Meanwhile, there was an unexpected surge for the newcomers: the dramatic (late) surge for the nationalist AfD party, which got a higher than expected 13.5% of the vote, has made it not only the third most popular German party but also the first far-right German party to enter the Bundestag in 60 years.

In short:

The first exit poll breakdown from ARD is as follows.

  • CDU/CSU – 32.5%
  • SPD – 20%
  • AfD – 13.5%
  • FDP – 10.5%
  • Greens – 9.5%
  • Left party – 9%

An exit poll from ZDF has a similar breakdown:

  • CDU/CSU-EPP: 33.5%
  • SPD-S&D: 21%
  • AfD-ENF: 13%
  • FDP-ALDE: 10%
  • LINKE-LEFT: 9%
  • GRÜNE-G/EFA: 9%

According to the Exit Poll, the likely coaltiions options include CDU/CSU-SPD or CDU/CSU-FDP-GREENS. The various possibilites are shown below.

However, according to SPD’s Schwesig, the leadership is united on entering opposition, meaning a grand coalition is unlikely and the CDU may have to settle for a government with the FDP and the Greens. 

* * *

Contrary to earlier reports of muted participation, Europe Elects predicted today’s turnout could be as high as 80 per cent, potentially the highest turnout of the past two decades.

Furthermore, as Europe Elects adds, today could mark the highest turnout in a key German state since 1988.  In Sachsen-Anhalt, as of  4pm, turnout today is around 56 per cent – quite a bit higher than in 2013, 2009, 2005 and 2002. Turnout is not quite as high as 1988 yet, when turnout was around 62 per cent at the same time.

Turnout is particularly significant in this election, as fewer CDU and SDP voters heading out to their booths means a larger vote share for the AfD.

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