Germany election points to fragmented parliament
July 16, 2021 - Opinion polls suggest that with three potential chancellors standing to replace Angela Merkel, Germany’s September election could result in a fragmented parliament.
Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), along with the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), have governed together for the most of the last two decades. Many Germans are ready for change.
The latest Politico poll of polls has the CDU/CSU at 29%, the Greens at 18%, and the SPD is at 16%. The pro-business FDP is at 12%, the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) is at 10%, and the left-wing Die Linke is at 7%.
The three most popular parties are fielding a trio of candidates vying to succeed Merkel:
• The CDU’s candidate for chancellor, Armin Laschet
• The SPD’s candidate, Olaf Scholz
• The co-leader of the Greens, Annalena Baerbock
With no party likely to emerge with an absolute majority from September’s election, observers suggest a fragmented Bundestag, which would result in months of coalition talks that would slow down the policy-making process in Germany and the European Union.
Following the federal election of 2017, the process to appoint a government took some six months. The CDU/CSU, the Greens and the FDP tried to form a coalition, but the negotiations collapsed over ideological disagreements. Eventually, the CDU/CSU formed a “grand coalition” with the SPD.