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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  • Comment number 60.

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

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 59.

    33.denkstoss

    "Democracy in Germany: More than 16 % of polled votes have been declared invalid. "

    Where did that figure come from?
    Did you mean 1.6%?

    Figures for recent German elections show figures around the 2% mark.
    http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?id=61

  • rate this
    +14

    Comment number 58.

    Safe pair of hands. Proven reliability & integrity. What a pity UK politics cannot find a similar national champion

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 57.

    #39 Ciaran

    "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."

    ´ Greece's top court and an anti-terrorism police unit have already begun investigating whether Golden dawn...Golden Dawn's support at 7 percent.´

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 56.

    47. meh100
    I'm not sure why some are saying this represents more bailouts for Europe!? Merkel is a hate figure in most Southern European countries because of her tough, austere monetary policies.
    ////////
    If for example the Italians had aimed their hatred at Berlusconi when there was still time, they wouldn't be in this predicament.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 55.

    Just goes to prove that the Austerity measures she and other conservative governments are pursuing do work and eventually get the support they deserve, unlike USA where spending is out of control.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 54.

    46. "The self-inflicted suffering you mean? What's that got to do with her? She looks at the bigger picture, and rightly so."

    My point exactly. The common response to the ridiculous suffering going on in Souther Europe is to shrug and say "It's all your fault". And Merkel has pandered to it.

    Is that what you call "saving Europe"? I don't.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 53.

    @45 quietoaktree

    "--How much feta cheese can Europe eat ?"

    Depends on how much Bratwurst you can swallow :)

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 52.

    @1.Gordon Soans-Wade
    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.

    Yes, British People don't realise the financial sacrifices the workers have made to keep the German economic fairytale alive, there's been a huge lack of infrastructure investment by Government too

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 51.

    I politician who believes in hard work and common sense economics.

    Can we have one please.....

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 50.

    In the background to the German election are signs of a labour shortage which is going to extend to the northern part of Europe. To prepare for this we in the UK are obsessed with cutting EU immigration and pulling up the drawbridge. Out of touch and out of reality. .

  • rate this
    -12

    Comment number 49.

    oh great another german we are supposed to be interested in....why dont we tell the EU and merkall and the rest of them to stick their policies where the sun dont shine.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 48.

    Congratulations to Frau Merkel and the CDU.

  • rate this
    +18

    Comment number 47.

    I'm not sure why some are saying this represents more bailouts for Europe!? Merkel is a hate figure in most Southern European countries because of her tough, austere monetary policies. While most Germans are deeply committed to Europe, they don't want to pay for it alone. Merkel has won because she treads the balance well. She's pragmatic and qualified for the job, not simply a personality.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 46.

    44. Chris Neville-Smith
    All Merkel has done is give Southern Europe the bare minimum of help to prevent a full economic meltdown, stayed oblivious to the suffering going on and stoked up huge resentment.
    //////////
    The self-inflicted suffering you mean? What's that got to do with her? She looks at the bigger picture, and rightly so.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 45.

    #41 SAB

    "It’s a bit disingenuous for the Germans to cry foul over the irresponsible spending of the other EZ nations given that that in itself has contributed to a large part of the German export boom and employment figs."

    --How much feta cheese can Europe eat ?

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 44.

    Merkel may be popular amongst the Germans but she's far from the saviour of Europe. All Merkel has done is give Southern Europe the bare minimum of help to prevent a full economic meltdown, stayed oblivious to the suffering going on and stoked up huge resentment.

    Yes, it's popular with Germans who don't want to pay more than they have to, but it's storing up a lot of problems for later.

  • rate this
    +16

    Comment number 43.

    It's a shame we cant get organised like Germany.

    Britain has always seemed to muddle through but now we just seem to be in a muddle and not getting through.

    Less grandiose schemes please (HS2 etc) and more rational development would help get this country back on track.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 42.

    Germany is successful, has a strong manufacturing based economy and a good standard of living. Understandably the Germans have voted for more of the same . The UK has Cameron , Clegg and Milliband , all incredibly expecting us to vote for more of the same here.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 41.

    It’s a bit disingenuous for the Germans to cry foul over the irresponsible spending of the other EZ nations given that that in itself has contributed to a large part of the German export boom and employment figs.

    So, Germany has now become both the supplier and effective banker of indebted EZ nations.

 

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