Angela Merkel celebrates after German election win

 

Angela Merkel told her supporters: "We can all be delighted"

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party has won Germany's election, but finished just short of an absolute majority, official results show.

Mrs Merkel urged her party to celebrate "a super result" as she looked set for a historic third term.

Her conservative bloc took about 41.5% of the vote - but her liberal partners failed to make it into parliament.

It is thought she is likely to seek a grand coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) who won 26%.

Analysis

This is an amazing result for Angela Merkel, currently Germany's - and Europe's - pre-eminent politician. It was clear that she would win this election, but no-one really predicted that she could get so close to an absolute majority.

The final results are not yet in, but it may still be that she needs a coalition partner. The obvious solution is a grand coalition with the centre-left Social Democrats. The party improved its share of the vote in second place, but still did not do as well as it wanted.

But there are divisions within the SPD about going into coalition again as a junior partner. In 2009 they were punished by the electorate for doing that in 2005.

Now the same thing has happened to the liberal Free Democrats, who have been in coalition with Mrs Merkel for the last four years, but appear to have been kicked out of parliament altogether.

The results showed that the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) won only 4.8%, which correspondents say is a disaster for the junior coalition partner, leaving it with no national representation in parliament for the first time in Germany's post-war history.

Party chairman Philipp Roesler called it "the bitterest, saddest hour of the Free Democratic Party".

The FDP was beaten by the Green Party (8.4%) and the former communist Left Party (8.6%). It almost finished behind the new Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD), which advocates withdrawal from the euro currency and took 4.7%, just short of the parliamentary threshold.

There was at one point speculation that Mrs Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister CSU might even win enough seats for an absolute majority - the first in half a century.

'Something fantastic'

Final percentage of the vote

  • CDU bloc: 41.5%
  • SPD: 26%
  • FDP: 4.8%
  • Left Party: 8.6%
  • Green: 8.4%
  • AfD: 4.7%

Mrs Merkel earlier addressed jubilant supporters at CDU headquarters. After waiting for chants of "Angie, Angie" to die down, she told them: "This is a super result."

"We can celebrate tonight because we have done something fantastic."

But, in a reference to coalition building, she said it was "too early to say exactly what we'll do".

Correspondents say that the 59-year-old chancellor seemed to acknowledge the complexities of forming a government when she was asked on television if she planned to reach out to other parties.

"Maybe we won't find anyone who wants to do anything with us," she replied.

Correspondents say that the result is nevertheless a ringing endorsement of her steady leadership during the euro zone crisis.

CDU parliamentary group leader Volker Kauder said that the party "has a clear mandate from voters to form a government". The outcome showed that "voters want Angela Merkel to remain chancellor" for a third term, he said.

Angela Merkel celebrates election victory Angela Merkel told supporters they had achieved "something fantastic"
German CDU supporters celebrate the election result CDU supporters celebrated a resounding victory
SPD leader Peer Steinbrueck Peer Steinbrueck has said he will not take part in a grand coalition
German free democratic party FDP party chairman Philipp Roesler (L) is comforted by his wife Wiebke FDP chairman Philipp Roesler oversaw a disastrous result for the party

Mrs Merkel has made clear she would be prepared to work with the Social Democrats (SPD) in a grand coalition, as she did in 2005-09.

The SPD has been more reluctant to consider linking up with the CDU/CSU again. The party leader, Peer Steinbrueck, was finance minister in the previous grand coalition, but has said he would not serve in such a government again.

Correspondents say that whatever the shape of the coalition that ends up forming the government, there probably will not be any significant policy shifts, although Germany might take a slightly softer approach to austerity in the eurozone.

Several weeks of difficult coalition negotiations are expected.

Peer Steinbrueck: "We did not get the result we wanted"

After the exit polls were released, but before official results were confirmed, Mr Steinbrueck conceded that it would be up to Mrs Merkel to decide how to proceed saying: "The ball is in Mrs Merkel's court. She has to get herself a majority."

The BBC's Chris Morris, at Social Democrat headquarters, said Mr Steinbrueck was putting a brave face on it but the atmosphere was subdued.

The SPD would have preferred to enter a coalition with the Green Party, but does not appear to have the votes to do so, and has ruled out a three-way alliance including the Left Party (Die Linke).

Analysts think the SPD will probably agree to a coalition with the CDU/CSU.

Turnout, projected at about 72%, was higher than at the last federal election - which had the worst on record.

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 20.

    15. Movetoslovenia
    So a woman elected by only .28% of the German electorate will lead Europe, democracy is dead!
    //////////////
    On the contrary, this is democracy at its best. The Germans realise Merkel is good for them, but some want the more positive influence of a coalition. Also, where did you get that 28% figure from?

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 18.

    Well done Merkel, keep on tightening the EU up - it requires this as a necessary step to ensure its legeivity. Borrowing is doing noone any good.

    Our gevernment offers debt line for us people, but ignores the very advises it espouses.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 17.

    A good leader with common sense. Thank goodness there is one in Europe. Wish the UK had one leader who did the best for their country rather than the tax-dodger Party in power or the spend, spend opposition and the agree with anybody as long as we can be in Govt. Party.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 16.

    I'm sure most Germans will be delighted by this result, for now, until they get fed up with more of their taxes being handed out to foreign states. The Greeks, Portuguese and Spanish might also think it's good news as they're likely to keep getting handouts. Until they realise the price - being ruled by the new German economic Reich (temporarily called the Eurozone).

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 15.

    So a woman elected by only .28% of the German electorate will lead Europe, democracy is dead!

    And a lesson for junior coalition partners like the UK Liberals, they will be eliminated at the next election

  • rate this
    -13

    Comment number 14.

    Germans economically are miles better than Britain

    Why are they so much behind in choosing a Margaret Thatcher ( Merkel)
    20 years after great Britain experienced a First Woman’s Prime Minister?

    Trouble is her personal life negates anything she has achieved as personally
    I believe if you can’t have a decent coherent family you have no place
    To lead Millions and Millions of people

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 13.

    Not being a sexist,
    But Surely If Germans are led by her excellency Merkel, and a genius African American is leading the Whitehouse

    It is time to have a BLACK Prime Minister?
    That time has come, and a few that have talked about , wants this to come to fruition sooner rather than later in the UK

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 12.

    Great news for Germany and The EU. If only David Cameron had such respect, guess that wont happen until he gets shot of his Euro sceptic loonies. They are keeping The UK very much on the sidelines when it come to matters EU and beyond.
    Congratulations Mrs Merkel, you are an inspiration to Germany, Europe and the world.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 11.

    The Germans have been told that the bailouts are loans not cheques. They're going to be very angry when they discover that they will actually write cheques. Greece will require a 3rd bailout and for the first time sovereign states will have to take a haircut.

    Next time, AfD will get considerably more than 4.7%. There are three choices: (1) federalism, (2) Greek exit or (3) ongoing blank cheques.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 10.

    Good news, there will be no faffing about changing the signatory on the European chequebook.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 9.

    Interesting that if just a handful of peope had voted FDP instead of CDU, the FDP would have representation and Angie would hav the obvious coalition partner. But by gaining slightly more support, they have lost an ally. Interesting to see how the Opposition will choose to flex its muscle...

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 8.

    Wunderbar !!! The only decent leader in all of Europe.

  • rate this
    +20

    Comment number 7.

    Good news for Germany and the EU. Merkel offers a stability that in this country we can only dream of.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 6.

    Great news!!!

  • rate this
    +12

    Comment number 5.

    "Gordon Soans-Wade
    I live and work in Germany and bang goes any idea of a decent pay rise or tax reductions!!"

    Don't worry. Once we leave the EU you'll be kicked out of Germany and find employment in the global free trading nirvana that UKIP and the Europhobes promise will occur as the talents and energies of the British get unleashed when freed from the jackboot of Brussels Eurocrats.

  • rate this
    -7

    Comment number 4.

    I guess this is confirmation that the Euro is all about Germany....other countries are irrelevant.

  • rate this
    -7

    Comment number 3.

    That's enough German for one day.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 2.

    The Left-wing parties have more seats. Could they form a Coalition themselves...The Right though won more seats but FDP and AfD both just missed the 5% threshold.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1.

    I live and work in Germany and bang goes any idea of a decent pay rise or tax reductions!! The CDU will just keep everyone working for peanuts, well apart from the rich.

 

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