Merkel holds on by her fingernails

By Rhodri Sheldrake Davies 

Berlin is a changed city today, following the fallout of the latest round of Bundestag elections. Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU suffered significant losses, as voters expressed discontent with the policies of the 2013-17 government, however have held onto power as the strongest party.

On the other hand, their ex-coalition partner, the SPD, received its worst result since WW2. It has subsequently announced that it plans to return to opposition in order to reconnect with its core vote, many of whom have shifted allegiance to the smaller parties. This decision has left the CDU/CSU in an awkward position, needing to negotiate the support of both the Greens and FDP in order to form a viable government.

The big winners of this election have been the controversial AfD, who surpassed pollsters expectations and became the Bundestag’s 3rd largest party, drawing in supporters from across the political spectrum as well as a substantial number of first time voters. Similarly, the FDP had cause to be happy with their result, returning to the position of kingmaker.

With a total of 6 parties now sitting, the face of the Bundestag has changed entirely from when Merkel first took up her chancellorship in 2005.

Image by Lisa Federle via flickr 

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