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 220.

    218. Soothseeker
    Germany played a clever game...it pretended not to notice as, one after another, 'euro' nations with uncompetitive economies went on a debt-fuelled binge,
    ///////////
    They knew exactly what they let themselves in for. Berlusconi didn't become rich and powerful purely on the strength of his good looks and charm.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 219.

    "I believe in Merkels..

    Where you from...

    You sexy thang...."

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 218.

    Germany played a clever game ever since the euro came into existence on 1 Jan 1999. For the next 15 years it pretended not to notice as, one after another, 'euro' nations with uncompetitive economies went on a debt-fuelled binge, using the cash to gorge on German exports. Once easy credit dried up, they were bust. Enter Germany, now preaching austerity! Totally cynical, but Merkel is a politician.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 217.

    215.Philip Jennings
    You mistake my comment obviously I should have put Merkel in both times no harping back to the other monstrosity I think you are referring to. He is well in the past now and should stay there the fascist right shouldn't be welcome anywhere in Europe after that particular corporal showed us how they react unrestrained'

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 216.

    Frau Merkel is probably one of the VERY FEW leaders that:

    1 knows what exponential growth actually is because she will know about e and ln(X)

    2 can talk meaningfully about energy policy because she actually knows what a Joule is.

    3 can talk meaningfully about acid rain because she knows what an acid actually is

    Most others can probbaly only "haver"

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 215.

    212. Dave1506
    New leader is the same as the old leader, I would use the German word for leader but the BBC would probably object
    //////////
    Not just the BBC as it would be completely gratuitous as well. The old leader you appear to refer to would never have allowed a coalition as Merkel does, who is now entering her 3rd consecutive coalition. It'll probably be as successful as the previous 2.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 214.

    MR TRUCULENT SAYS!
    He believes the reunification of Germany shouldn't have allowed. The Germans have been the cause of two world wars. Partition would have been a permanent reminder to them. How much money did Germany take out of the EU Money pot, for reunification at British Tax payers expense.
    E&OE

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 213.

    #206 Ron - "Germans are lucky to have politicians who put country first".

    Bless thy simplicity, mate. I don't know why democracy came so late to Germany but, like politicos everywhere, Merko certainly looks after no.1.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 212.

    New leader is the same as the old leader, I would use the German word for leader but the BBC would probably object

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 211.

    @201.The Bloke
    It's also worth pointing out

    No its not,
    People might be confused by what in the UK would be a left wing anti-Euro, anti-EU superstate party potentially being in a coalition with Merkels centre right party, so its worth noting German Greens are not that. I doubt UK people are very interested in some highly inappropriate policies/involvements of minor german politicians 30 years ago

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 210.

    She's the complete antithesis of your average British politician, she's highly intelligent, modest, honest and tough, doesn't promise what she can't deliver and isn't a time served career politician!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 209.

    205. Philip Jennings
    13 MINUTES AGO
    203. paulmerhaba
    --
    Moi imply?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 208.

    I wish we had some one who would put there country first.

    There policies are designed to protect German manufacturing, the price for that is Greece, but Germany is willing to sacrifice countries like Greece.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 207.

    204. Sarah
    I don't expect that ordinary Greek people will be delighted as Merkel only has severe austerity ideas for them.
    ///////////
    My guess is that they are delighted that Osborne isn't calling the shots in Europe. Then, there really wouldn't be any light at the end of the tunnel.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 206.

    The people in Germany are lucky they have polititians that whatever their differences put the country and its people first.Not squabble among themselves like a bunch of school kids.More interested in their party than its people like our political pygmies.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 205.

    203. paulmerhaba
    I notice the beeb have closed down the HYS on the labour conference, just as people will be getting home from work.
    Strange that.
    ////////////
    Yes. Almost 1700 posts, largely anti-Labour (why don't these people have jobs?), you'd think they wait to get some pro-Labour comments. If the BBC were Labour biased. Which is a myth. So what are you implying exactly?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 204.

    I don't expect that ordinary Greek people will be delighted as Merkel only has severe austerity ideas for them.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 203.

    I notice the beeb have closed down the HYS on the labour conference, just as people will be getting home from work.
    Strange that.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 202.

    200. The Bloke
    Especially when the German Greens are fighting serious paedophilia allegations
    //////////
    "fighting allegations"? They have admitted to the relevant campaign from the 80's. I am still waiting to hear why Savile spent so many NYE's with the Thatchers and why Thatcher herself fought so hard to get him a knighthood.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 201.

    //83. thePedantsRrevolting

    It's worth pointing out that The German Green party very unlike the UK Greens is now classified by some as a centre right party somewhere between SPD & CDU..//

    It's also worth pointing out that Greens indulged in political violence against the AfD, and that party 'prominents' are involved in a paedophilia scandal. Trittin and CohnBendit might end up in jail...

 

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