by Frank Schnittger
Sun Sep 24th, 2017 at 09:38:15 PM EST
Some discussion of the German election results has already taken place here buried deep within the 18 - 24 Sep 2017 discussion forum. However I think it merits a discussion forum all of its own. How will the results effect Germany, Europe and Merkel's continued leadership?
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has won the German federal election and a likely fourth term in office, amid a dramatic voter swing to the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).
The four-year-old populist party will enter the German Bundestag as its third strongest party with around 90 seats, after tapping voter concerns over immigration and security to secure 13 per cent of the vote.
Support for Dr Merkel’s centre-right CDU collapsed eight points to around 33 per cent, according to preliminary results, the party’s worst result in almost 60 years.
“We have to win back the AfD voters by solving problems and by addressing their concerns through good politics,” said Dr Merkel to supporters in Berlin.
Her outgoing grand coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), appears headed for the opposition benches after winning just 20.6 per cent in projections, its worst result since 1949.
“This government is over, this grand coalition was dropped,” said SPD leader Martin Schulz, calling the AfD’s arrival in parliament a historical “rupture”.
Dr Merkel’s most likely option to remain in power is a three-way alliance with the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), back in parliament with a projected 10.5 per cent, and the centre-left Greens on around 9 per cent.
However, such an untested alliance would be an uneasy option for Dr Merkel, and risk increased uncertainty for Germany’s European allies.