German polls 2017: Merkel or Schulz? Read briefly about the voting system and political predictions here!
Source :NewsBharati Date :22-Sep-2017
Berlin, September 22: Germany is an important part of the European Union, just like it was always in the history. Keeping aside Adolf Hitler, one of the famous female personalities in politics that Germany has today is Angela Merkel, the powerful woman who has shaped the political geography of the country. However, one could measure the strength Merkel possesses on her citizens, this Sunday. The German polls will be happening on September 24th keeping Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz on the diaz. The election is to elect Germany’s next Chancellor.
Polls currently show that Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) are maintaining a strong position. Merkel, however, is still overwhelmingly expected to win. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power puts a 98% probability that Germany’s “mutti” will stay as chancellor and less than a 1% chance that Schulz can claim power. But Merkel is highly unlikely to score an outright majority and the big question, and one that could shake up the eurozone, is who she’ll choose as her coalition partner.
Germany’s political system:The elections of the German Parliament, the Bundestag or the lower house are held in every four years. Germany's electoral system is notoriously idiosyncratic but, put simply, voters are asked to cast two votes – one for a candidate in their regional constituency and one for a political party – that will fill the Bundestag's 598 seats. This means that voters can split their votes between parties when voting for the constituency candidate they want to see in parliament, and the party they support. Voters do not directly elect the next chancellor. The chancellor must be elected with an absolute majority of the Bundestag's members. The candidate for chancellor is from the party that wins the most votes, raising Merkel's chances of re-election, given the voter polls.
Christian Democrats (CDU): The leading party in Germany, headed by Angela Merkel. The centre-right group made up of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) - they have employment, tax cuts and ongoing public investment at the forefront of their manifesto.
Social Democrats (SPD): Led by Martin Schulz, the centre-left are vying to make another Grand Coalition to remain in government. The party polled well following the election of their new leader, but then suffered once again in regional polls. The SPD is a traditionally working class party, pledging investment in education and infrastructure, funded by higher taxes for the rich.
Left (Linke): Led by Sahra Wagenknecht and loosely descended from the East German communists. This small party, often used as a protest vote, is campaigning for a rise in national minimum wage, a rejection of military missions abroad and the dissolution of NATO.
Green (Grüne): Led by co-chairs Katrin Göring-Eckardt and Cem Özdemir, this party could be the coalition kingmakers. They rely on educated, urban citizens, focusing on the environment, taxes and social policies.
Free Democratic Party (FDP): Led by Christian Lindner, the party was Merkel's junior coalition party in her second term. It failed to reach five per cent of the vote to allow another coalition in 2013. The party campaigns for tax cuts and to remain in financial markets - particularly within the EU.
Alternative for Germany (AfD): A right-wing populist party lead by Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland. The party's hardline anti-EU, anti-immigration views have attracted voters from almost all of the other parties, especially among lower income households.
Prediction of the elections and the result date: Merkel's CDU is looking most likely to win the most seats in the Bundestag - for the fourth election in a row. The SPD, led by former President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, is in second place in the polls - securing around a quarter of the vote. The AfD - the far-right Alternative for Germany party - had enjoyed a slight rise in the polls in 2016 but have since collapsed into in-fighting and unpopularity.
In reality, the CDU will have to seek a coalition agreement with the SPD or one of the other minor parties to form a government. We should know who has won the election by 6pm BST this Sunday, when voting ends and the exit poll is released, although it won't be several more weeks until a coalition government is officially agreed.
Impact on Brexit: If Merkel comes into power again then it’s quite sure she’s going to ask divorce bill from Theresa May. She’s expected to aim at securing the best deal for Germany and the EU, without “punishing” Britain for its choice. Diehard EU fan and former European President Schulz has been highly critical of Brexit and believes the principles of the single market are non-negotiable. That means no free movement of EU citizens, no access to single market. He’s also threatened to push for the “hardest possible Brexit.”
The lines are blurred till now, but will be clear soon after the German elections. It will decide if the fate of governance will be ruled by Merkel or Schulz.