Germany votes its future and that of Europe in the goodbye of Angela Merkel after 16 years as Chancellor

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The electoral colleges of Germany have opened at 8:00 am this Sunday to proceed to the general elections in this country, the country with the largest demographic weight in the European Union (EU), and which will mark the end of the “era of Angela Merkel” , after 16 years in power.

The latest polls show a slight advantage of one or two points for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, against the conservative candidate and Merkel’s co-religionist, Armin Laschet.

The elections are therefore presented with an uncertain result, after a campaign marked by the trend changes in polls.

In March, polls placed The Greens, led by Annalena Baerbock, in the first position in voting intention. From there the conservative bloc went on to climb positions, after the centrist Laschet was appointed as a candidate, while Scholz seemed condemned to the third position.

The situation suddenly changed in favor of the social democrats, between the end of August and the beginning of September. Forecasts began to skyrocket in favor of Scholz as a solid favorite, up to five points ahead of Laschet.

In the final stretch the distances were narrowed, which together with the fragmentation of the vote points out that the future government will be a tripartite, whoever is leading it.

The average percentage given to the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is 25%, compared to 22% for the conservative bloc made up of the Christian Democratic Union and its sister Social Christian Union (CDU / CSU) of Bavaria.

The Greens are in third place, with 16%, while the Liberal Party (FDP) and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) are forecast 11%. The group of parties closes above 5%, the minimum to obtain seats, La Izquierda, with 6%.

Government Formulas

Several formulas are given as possible for the creation of the next government of Germany, excluding, as unlikely, a reissue of the great coalition between conservatives and social democrats. One can theoretically combine Scholz’s SPD with Greens and Liberals; another can match Social Democrats with Greens and The Left, very controversial.

Another formula can be a coalition of conservatives with Greens and liberals, an option that was tried four years ago but that, due to the latest statements by their leader, Christian Lindner, seems to be reopening. Only the extreme right, AfD, is totally ruled out as an ally by the rest of the parties.

The first vote estimates will be broadcast by the two national public television networks, ARD and ZDF, immediately after the closing of the schools and based on exit polls.

Shortly after, the voting projections will begin to be broadcast. The Electoral Commission has warned that final results may be delayedGiven the high percentage of voting by mail, which may be at a new all-time high.

In 2017, the previous generals, 28.6% of voters did so by mail. The participation rate was 76.2%.

This Sunday regional elections are also held in the city-state of Berlin, as well as in the “Land” of Mecklenburg-Antepomerania, in the northeast, both under Social Democratic rule.

In the German capital, a popular consultation has also been convened on expropriations of large real estate companies, promoted by a citizen initiative to try to curb the price of housing.

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