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 100.

    She's an elected official to represent the interests of Germany not the rest of Europe and that's exactly what she's done. You may not like it but then you don't get a say in German politics unless you're a German citizen

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 99.

    I quite fancied a new chancellor to run our country, it would have made a nice change.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 98.

    78: The name of Frau Merkel's party is an anachronism. It was founded in 1945 on the ruins of the old pre-Nazi Centre Party which was Catholic-based, but it has always been open to people of any religion and none.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 97.

    64.Dun Geonson wrote:
    "Hogwash. Germany's succes is keeping Europe's head above water."

    83.Dun Geonson wrote:
    "It's not sinking"

    If it is not "sinking", why is Germany "keeping Europe's head above water"? Make up your mind!

    83.Dun Geonson wrote:
    Greek and Italian leaders refused to take responsibility for their country's welfare.

    They were doing just fine before joining the Euro.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 96.

    @25.Lightmare
    .. endless bail outs for failed Southern European left wing failure

    Those bailouts are loans, Germany gets 5% interest, Germany borrrows the money to loan at negative interest after inflation is taken into account (yield is lower than inflation so Germany in real terms pays back less than it borrowed)
    For Germany to run perpetual surpluses its trading partners must run deficits

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 95.

    68. Sagacity
    http://snbchf.com/2013/03/wolfgang-schauble-the-evil-genius/
    /////////
    Who are SNBCHF.com? I am highly suspicious of people who describe others as "evil geniuses", it's all a bit Marvel Comics: you're only 1 step away rom believing in lizards.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 94.

    I'm sure Merkell will continue to work hard improving both the German economy and power-base in Europe.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 93.

    I thought I understood the German electoral system until now. Can someone explain to me how the CSU managed to gain 11 extra seats, yet barely increased its vote? The system only just avoided allowing parties with only 42% of first choice votes to have an overall majority. This is no better than our system under Thatcher/Major/Blair, but at least better than 2005. Sorry for being nerdish

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 92.

    "Andrew
    They haven't done it by...waiting for anyone else's help"

    I think you'll find that Germany was one of the biggest recipients of Marshall Aid and the fact it didn't need to spend much on Defence (subsidised instead by the taxpayers of the USA, UK, France and USSR) meant it could recover after WW2 pretty quickly. We spent Marshall Aid on the NHS and nationalisation of industry.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 91.

    @61. Yes, we should not work so hard in Germany, value technology and excellence or invest in people & our infrastructure. By doing so we have created the most skilled & well trained workforce in Europe and our products are known worldwide and recognised as being of superior quality. I'm sorry we are successful. Would you like us to try less hard? We trust Merkel as she embodies German virtues.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 90.

    78.
    Crabman


    "I won't pretend to understand German politics"

    They are basically about looking after Germany . I wish Cameron , Milliband and co would study German Politics

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 89.

    "61. GazingAtTheStars
    Germany's success has been at the expense of the rest of Europe.
    Merkel's victory is to be feared, not welcomed"

    yes, definitely, those pesky hard working jerries, who are not burdened with a lazy corrupt populace are being a success on purpose, just to grind us into the dirt!

  • rate this
    -9

    Comment number 88.

    This is very bad for the UK.

    Merkel will push ahead with an united Europa at the cost of austerity for millions of ordinary people.

    Her vision will turn into a canker of corruption, unaccountable political elites and criminality. She must be stopped.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 87.

    The 5 % hurdle was introduced after WW2 to prevent too many parties in the parliament. The vast amount of parties, hampered the Weimar Republic massively. In regard to preventing small parties from parliament, look at the history of parties in the German parliament, and see that the Greens entered parliament 30 years ago. Depending on the people's will small parties rise up and can go down again

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 86.

    Ah, I get it. If we don't paint Germany black we have to admit that the EU isn't as moribund as the EU-haters would like you to believe. It's politics, and once more this is clear how little politics have to do with real life. Go, Merkel, the real world is behind you. I suggest the rest switch to the topic on the Emmy awards to complain why they can't moan about Kenya.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 85.

    #73 Gazing

    "It is because of the Euro policy is geared to favour the Germany ecomomy and everyone else can go drown"

    -- Germany was FORCED into the Euro --by France.

    --read the history of German re-unification -- it was geared to ┬┤contain┬┤ Germany --nothing else !

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 84.

    "Ciaran Dearle
    Even if it concerns less than 10 % of voters, the exclusion of the FDP and AfD under the '5 % rule' is undemocratic"

    Is it more or less "undemocratic" than the FPTP system we have which prevents small parties gaining representation?

    Isreal has a threshold of 2% making the minor parties much more influential in coalitions. How democratic is that?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 83.

    73. GazingAtTheStars
    And why is Europe sinking?
    It is because of the Euro policy is geared to favour the Germany ecomomy and everyone else can go drown.
    ////////////
    It's not sinking, although it is in choppy water. And it's there because some dodgy Greek and Italian leaders refused to take responsibility for their country's welfare.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 82.

    Such a pity she hasn't been elected to govern Spain, to sweep away all the political dross suffocating us.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 81.

    Don't mention the election!!!

 

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