Too close to call in Germany.
Preliminary (unofficial) parliamentary results are in from the German parliamentary elections, and they are not nearly as good as expected for conservative Angela Merkel and the Christian Democrat Union/Christian Social Union (CDU-CSU). The results, by number of seats in the Bundestag (parliament) are as follows. (299 needed for majority/government)
CDU-CSU: 219 (-29)
Social Democratic (SPD): 213 (-38)
Free Democratic Party (FDP): 61 (+14)
The Left Party (Die Linkspartei): 54 (+52)
Alliance 90/The Greens (Budnis 90/Die Grunen): 50 (-5)
National Democratic Party (NDP): None (-1)
Please allow me to remind you that the CDU-CSU had more than a 20% lead in a poll taken in late July. THIS IS AN EMBARASSMENT!
As the count is so close, both Anglea Merkel and SPD incumbent Gerhard Schroeder have claimed election to the office of Chancellor (head of government, always the leader of majority party in the Bundestag). While he has slightly fewer seats, Schroeder claims that the fact that he is PERSONALLY more popular than Merkel (not her party, just her) entitles him to the office (which is utter nonsense). It really comes sown to which parties can form a coalition with 299 or more seats.
The most likely result is an inconvenient and ineffective "grand coalition" incorporporating both the CDU-CSU and the SPD, with Merkel as Chancellor. However, Schroeder could remain Chancellor through a "traffic-light coalition" of the SPD (which uses red as its color), the FDP (which uses yellow), and The Greens; an SPD/Die Linkspartei/Greens coalition; or an SPD/FDP/Greens coalition. "Davids Medienkritik" even mentioned the the outside chance of a highly unusual and improbable CDU-CSU/FDP/Greens coalition led by Merkel.
It would be an understatement to say that the political situation in Germany is going to be a three-ring circus after this election. Stay tuned.
Technorati Tags: Germany, German Election, CDU-CSU, CDU/CSU, CDU, CSU, FDP, SPD, Grand Coalition, Angela Merkel, Merkel, Gerhard Schroeder, Schroeder, Chancellor, News, World Politics, Politics, Current Affairs, Current Events