EU Update: German Election

Another term for Chancellor Merkel?

Quibbl predicts the outcome of today’s election in Germany.

By Nora Jaquemet

Angela Merkel awaits the results of Sunday’s German election (and of the Jets-Dolphins game)

On the 24th of September, Germany will elect the 29th Bundestag, the country’s parliament, which will then choose the new German Chancellor. Angela Merkel has held the role for the past 12 years and is expected to be reelected for her 4th term.

Who else is running?

Several other parties have put forth candidates to replace Merkel, though only the left-wing Social Democrat Party’s (SPD) Martin Schultz enjoys any significant support. All indications are that Merkel will take power once again. Germany, unlike the two-party dominant US, has enough popular political parties that the government usually must be formed by coalition: multiple parties come together to officially form a ruling majority.

While Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), is traditionally a center-right party, Merkel’s positions have veered more and more to the left, with Schultz’s SPD being a junior partner in Merkel’s coalition government since 2013. The current Chancellor’s most notable position has perhaps been her open-door policy on issues of refugees and migrants in Europe, allowing 1 million refugees into the nation in 2015, the most of any European country.

Quibbl: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is making a bid for her fourth term (and 13th year) as head of government. Will she be reelected by the new Bundestag?

Other results to watch for

Despite Merkel’s long-predicted victory, this parliamentary election might still shake up Germany. A new political party founded in 2013, Alternative for Germany (AfD), looks set to win parliamentary seats for the first time. AfD is considered a far-right party notable for its anti-immigration policy, a sentiment that resonates with many Germans. The growing popularity of far-right political parties in Europe is nothing new: Brexit, populist parties in Italy, Marine Le Pen’s near-win in France, the upcoming Austrian elections. However, if AfD were to make it into the German parliament, it would mark the first time since WWII that a far-right party held seats in government. Thus far, no established parties have expressed willingness to allow AfD into a coalition government. Entry into the parliament, though, would give them a stronger platform and could be their first step toward a foothold in mainstream German politics.

Quibbl: The right-wing, populist AfD party has been growing in popularity with its anti-immigration message. Will they manage to win seats in parliament for the first time?

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