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
    +2

    Comment number 40.

    "Theworldhasgoneinsane"Educate yourself.UK is, not Ger.Ger gets its own money in,through hard work,massive exports of high standard goods&a positive work&economic attitude.Plus they are one of the few countries who have actually paid of all debts.Yes,taxation is high but so is the quality of life,sthg you can't say about the UK.I think Ger has shown the best post WW2 improvements in any sector.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 39.

    Even if it concerns less than 10 % of voters, the exclusion of the FDP and AfD under the '5 % rule' is undemocratic. The rule was introduced a generation ago when there was a real concern at the possible revival of extreme politics. It should never be used to exclude a party that has been in parliament continuously for 60 years (FDP) or one that just thinks the euro is not a good idea (AfD).

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 38.

    Yep you only have to look at their history to know why they crave stability makes you look at your own country and ask why are we in such a mess but history again Tony Benn created a sovereign wealth fund with the oil money like Norway but Mrs Thatcher did away with it no Norway has I believe the 5th richest sovereign wealth fund in the world Yep history can teach us a lot

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 37.

    How is it that German coalitions seem to work, you ours are abject failures?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 36.

    This may be a good result for Merkel but it is not a triumph for the right as is being suggested. The FDP has no representation in the parliament (so why is it put third in the BBC list?) and the UKIP like cranks have not made it either. The left did well as did the Greens. It is for the SPD to explain now what it can offer that is different to the CDU/CSU.

  • rate this
    +12

    Comment number 35.

    Amazing that this is more important for Europe but no in depth coverage of this election like the US election. again the British are too stupid to realise that the UK is not part of the US but is part of the European continent. UK wake up!!!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 34.

    I remember once, Gordon Brown claimed to have saved the world.

    Merkel is the person who saved Europe, she should get the credit she deserves. This victory is good for politics throughout Europe.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 33.

    Democracy in Germany: More than 16 % of polled votes have been declared invalid. That means some millions of voters' have not had their voices heard. Add to it the 5% mark which keeps out parties from Bundestag and you have around 16% voters whose valid votes have effectively not been taken into account. So much for democracy! In reality it is a farce. The big parties just want to keep others out.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 32.

    thumbs up for her renewable energy action.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 31.

    Lot of envy of Germany's continued success seeping through the comments here. Remember, you get the politicians you deserve. You may not like Merkel, but deary me, without Germany, the European West, EU or not, would have none of its credibility left.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 30.

    To those who say they wish UK leaders commanded as much respect as Merkel, perhaps the problem is more the electorate than the leaders. The German electorate tends to be much more pragmatic than those of the UK. Indeed, it's hard to imagine a more cynical lot than the UK electorate (many of whom don't even make use of their vote, preferring to complain instead).

  • rate this
    -17

    Comment number 29.

    Merkel is a great Choice

    I would like to see Dianne Abbott lead labour, she reminds me a lot like Merkel. And go on and win the General Election.

    The prosperous years in Great Britain for those of us old enough to remember where during Margaret Thatcher

    Dianne Abbott would bring that stability, as she is fearless vision and independent. As shadow Minister her Views are admired by Brits

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 28.

    Well done.Am German & living in the UK.Although more of an SPD person myself I am happy that Merkel won a 3rd term as she has shown to be a strong leader in recent years throughout the world wide financial crisis and the ongoing euro crisis.It was important for her to win another term as she should have the chance to finish off the good job she has done in recent years.Best current head of state!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 27.

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

    The German FDP were polling 4-6% throughout most of the last Parliament. That gives them no seats.

    The UK Lib dems have been polling 8-12% throughout most of this Parliament. Even if their fortunes don't change, that should enable them to keep at least half their seats.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 26.

    @7 - Huh? Regardless of coalition our government is indeed stable, there's never talk of it's potential collapse. Indeed our politics has tended to be pretty stable for a long time.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 25.

    I like Angela, congrats to her, but if I was German I'd be voting elsewhere after the endless bail outs for failed Southern European left wing failure.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 24.

    A very good reason to stay in the EU.

  • rate this
    +13

    Comment number 23.

    14. Pretty Boy
    Why are they so much behind in choosing a Margaret Thatcher ( Merkel)
    /////////////
    Thatcher was nothing like Merkel. what an ignorant comparison.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 22.

    What's so amusing is the BBC fawning over Angela Merkel. She's just a politician, nothing special.

    You also have to remember that Germany is funded by the USA which is why is has such a close political alliance with them. As soon as the USA is officially declared bankrupt, I'd like to see just how "financially stable" Germany really is. Not.

  • Comment number 21.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

 

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