Rise of the Right and a Jamaica Coalition: German Parliament Elections
A total of 61.5 million Germans were eligible to vote for the 19th German Parliament. The results were not wholly surprising, but the sharp rise of the AFD, shocked many in the wake of the election. Read all about results and the potential alliances in the latest German Parliament.
An overview of the Results:
- The SPD (Social Democrats) received just 20.5%, their worst election results since the beginning of the Bundesrepublik.
- Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Union of CDU/CSU lost nearly 9% but remained the most powerful political party with 33%
- The AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) will make their debut in the German Bundestag receiving 12.6% vote share, making them the third most powerful party
- Greens gained 8.9%, making them a potential coalition partner.
- Die Linke received 9.2% vote share.
- The FDP (Freie Demokraten) re-enter the German Bundestag with 10.7% of votes, after not reaching the 5% vote threshold in 2013.
- 5.1% other
The German Parliament Grows
As a general rule, the Bundestag consists of 598 members of parliament. Since an electoral reform in 2013, “ballance seats” are added to ensure that the population is represented equally, as the 598 seats may not be able to be divided up evenly. In the latest German Parliament will grow again in this legislative period. According to the federal election commissioner, the 19th German Bundestag will most likely contain 709 seats.
Learn more about the German Bundestag election system here
Distribution os seats in the German Parliament:
- CDU/CSU: 246 seats
- SPD: 153 seats
- AfD: 94 seats
- FDP: 80 seats
- Die Linke: 69 seats
- Bündnis90/Die Grünen: 67 seats
Jamaica-Coalition most likely
First of all, what is a Jamaica Coalition? It is simply the party colours of the CDU/CSU (black), The Greens (green) and the FDP (Yellow) combined which are the same as seen on the Jamaican flag.
The SPD ruled out to being part of another great coalition moments after the first results came in. No party wishes to enter into a coalition with the AFD and the Linke (the left) and the CDU refuse to be coalition partners. Therefore the only coalition government that can be formed is the CDU, Greens and FDP. However, no political party seemed willing to comment on coalition talks yesterday.
Winners and losers of the German election
Despite remaining the strongest party in the new Bundestag, the Union of CDU/CSU cannot consider themselves wholly victorious. CDU/CSU lost around 9%, many to the AfD. The total 33% vote share is the second worst election results for the CDU since the beginning of the Bundesrepublik. Right-wing populist Alternative für Deutschland will enter into the Bundestag for the first time and became even the third strongest party.
Right-wing populist Alternative für Deutschland will enter into the Bundestag for the first time and is the third strongest party. However, there has been widespread condemnation of their post-election rhetoric, claiming that they will bring German Parliament to heel.
After not getting into the Bundestag in 2013 the FDP will be happy with their 10.4% share. Greens and Die Linke keep their positions at around 9%. The Greens and FDP are likely to make up part of the new government, so largely a successful election for both parties.
The SPD is, however, worse off falling to a new low of 20.5%. Yet, martin Schulz has said he will remain as leader of the party and similarly withdrew from any grand coalition talks with Merkel’s CDU.
Voter Turnout higher in 2017 compared to 2013
The voter turnout was higher than previous elections, rising to 76.2%. This can be due to the fact that many typical non-voters cast their vote for the right-wing populist AfD rather than the established people parties. The rise of protest votes can often result in higher election turnouts.
Nearly 30 per cent of voters cast their vote via post in this years election. The trend in democratic participation is absentee voting.
We will keep you posted as the latest #electionnews arrives!