The predictions and results page for German Federal Election 2017, taking place on September 24. Who will win the German election?
Chancellor Angela Merkel, in office since 2005, seeks a fourth term in government for her CDU-CSU Coalition. In her twelve years in office, Merkel became a key voice in European politics, and she hopes her reign will continue. Her main opposition is the SPD, or Social Democrats, led by Martin Schulz.
Despite an eventful last few years, including Brexit and the Syrian refugee crisis, Merkel’s Christian Democrats remain primed to win the election. How do we think they will do?
Keep in mind, there are also a number of other political parties in Germany that may impact the course of the election. For example, the Left and Green parties both hold substantial seat totals in the Bundestag. Further, the Free Democratic Party and right-wing Alternative for Germany are positioned to get into the parliament.
The likelihood remains high that no one party forms a majority after September 24th’s poll. This is not unusual, but how the parties stitch together a governing coalition is critical.
German Federal Election 2017: Results
This was the election of the overhang seats, of which there were 111. Instead of the ordinary 598 seats in the Bundestag, we ended with 709. For the most part, the parties bumped up their share from what we projected. There were a few exceptions, however. First, the CDU-CSU won a few less seats than predicted, despite a lot more seats on the table. We had the AfD as the third-largest party, though they won far more seats than expected. Finally, the FDP exceeded our expectations markedly with 80 seats.
One look at the parliamentary seat chart shows how difficult coalition building will be. The SPD is not joining a “grand coalition,” and nobody will approach the AfD. An SPD-Green-Left alliance wouldn’t get them there, nor would a CDU-CSU-FDP coalition on the other end. Either the center-right would need to woo the Greens, or the center-left would need the FDP’s cooperation. The latter is less likely given the FDP’s history.
German Federal Election 2017: Final Pre-Election Prediction
In our final prediction of the 2017 campaign, the CDU-CSU win 248 seats in the Bundestag. This is compared to 129 for the SPD, the second-largest party. Among the lesser parties, the AfD leads with 66 seats. The Left (Die Linke) wins 65, the FDP takes 52, and the Greens are last with 41.
This Bundestag is 601 seats, which includes three overhang seats.
German Federal Election 2017: Updated Analysis, September 21
The SPD’s trend continues to go down over the final days of the campaign. One would think a major party can’t go much lower than the low 20s, however. Whereas before, we held that the SPD would maintain their standing in the constituency seats, we’re cutting it down now. We envision a possibility of over a dozen constituency losses for the SPD.
Angela Merkel’s CDU-CSU will gain, but with Die Linke’s uptick, they may break through for another seat or two.
As it has been the whole campaign, Merkel’s bloc will be the largest party by far. Their friends in the FDP will almost certainly get back into the Bundestag, but the two together will come just short of an overall majority. This means another “grand coalition” could be in the works. The SPD, Greens, and Die Linke together would not match the CDU-CSU total.
Only one conceivable outcome remains if the polls are correct. This is Merkel leading the next government with her party still in power.
German Federal Election 2017: Detailed Predictions
CDU-CSU constituency seats: 248 (+12)
SPD constituency seats: 44 (-14)
Die Linke constituency seats: 6 (+2)
Green constituency seats: 1
AFD & FDP constituency seats: 0
CDU-CSU vote share: 36.7%
SPD vote share: 22.1%
AfD vote share: 11.4%
Die Linke vote share: 11.1%
FDP vote share: 8.0%
Green vote share: 7.0%
Using the above figures, our calculations were made using the Sainte-Laguë method.
German Federal Election 2017: Past Analysis, September 15
There hasn’t been much movement in the opinion polls. Unquestionably, Angela Merkel will lead the largest party in the Bundestag by a wide margin. The difference between this prediction and the last one is how many overhang seats were chopped down.
We see an uptick in the votes for the minor parties, and some of it came off of the SPD. Or, if it came off of the CDU-CSU, then they recovered those votes off of the SPD. Whatever the case, Merkel’s bloc is stable.
Another “grand coalition” seems to be in the works in German politics. The CDU would be willing to work with the FDP, but the two together won’t hit the finish line. Nobody’s going to touch the AfD, no matter how many seats they hold.
German Federal Election 2017: Past Analysis, September 5
With the Free Democrats getting back into the Bundestag, and the AFD moving in, this changes the numbers for the major parties. In opinion polls, both parties are well above the five percent threshold to qualify for seats. The Left and Green parties are there as well, meaning the so-called minor parties will have a major say.
Angela Merkel’s CDU-CSU coalition has not trailed in the polls for any length of time throughout the campaign. This has a different feel from the 2017 British election campaign, where the Tories led all the way and still forfeited their majority. In that campaign, the Conservative position weakened steadily. Merkel has not sustained a tough challenge from the SPD.
German Federal Election 2017: Important Supporting Links
Excellent coverage of the German federal election can be found at Deutsche Welle.
See more about European elections on Electionarium with our dedicated page.