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8/11/17

German Political Update: Merkel’s Choice - by Holger Schmieding

Seven weeks ahead of the German election on 24 September, Chancellor Angela Merkel can take it easy. She looks set to comfortably win a fourth term in office. The real questions are which coalition partner she will choose and whether that choice will make any difference.

For some aspects of domestic policy, the choice may matter a little. But the German approach to the bigger questions of foreign and European policy including European reforms and Brexit will probably not change in any major way regardless of Merkel’s choice of coalition partner.

In opinion polls, support for Merkel’s centre-right CDU/CSU has stabilised around 39%, 15 points ahead of the centre-left SPD led by Merkel’s challenger Martin Schulz.

Four other parties are on course to clear the 5% threshold and enter the federal parliament with roughly 8% each: the centre-left Greens (7.9% support on the average of the last seven polls), the ultra-left Left Party (8.7%), the liberal FDP (8.4%) and the right-wing AfD (8.1%).

As all other parties will shun the AfD, some combination of the other parties will form the next federal government. A coalition will need just above 47.5% of the popular vote for a majority of seats in parliament.

The two hypothetical alternatives to a Merkel-led government, a SPD-Green alliance with either the Left Party or the FDP, would command only 40.1% or 39.8% of the vote, respectively. They would thus fall at least seven points short of a majority.

Read more: German Political Update: Merkel’s Choice - The Globalist

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