Monday, September 23, 2013

Germany votes

Germans went to the polls today in federal elections, and appear to have handed Chancellor Angela Merkel a third term. But appearances can be deceiving; the result is a little bit more complicated than that.

The most important result is not the CDU/CSU's, but that of their usual coalition partner, the Free Democrats. They failed to make the 5% threshold, so they're out. Meanwhile, a new anti-European party, Alternative for Germany, also fell just short. Which combined with the usual minor-party threshold effects, means the CDU/CSU are hovering close to an absolute majority.

But "close" isn't victory. And with no coalition partner, anything less is a loss. The current projections (including overhang seats) have the CDU/CSU falling between 2 and 5 seats short of a majority. Which means that it is almost certainly Grand Coalition time again, which in turn means another massacre for the Social Democrats in 2017. And all because they still refuse to work with The Left...