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Federal election 2021: projections – SPD just ahead of Union, Greens by far

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Germany has elected a new Bundestag and, according to the first projections, the SPD is just ahead of the Union parties, the Greens well behind in third place, ahead of the FDP and AfD. It is not yet clear whether the left will make it back into the Bundestag. According to the Wahlen research group (ZDF), 25.8 percent voted for the SPD, 24.2 percent for the CDU and CSU and 14.7 percent for the Greens. The FDP comes to 11.8 percent, the AfD to 10.1 percent. The Left Party has reached exactly 5 percent. The SPD is also ahead at Infratest Dimap (ARD), with 24.9 percent but only slightly ahead of the CDU / CSU with 24.7 percent. The Union would therefore get one more seat in the Bundestag because of overhang mandates. The Greens are here at 14.8 percent, the AfD at 11.3 before the FDP with 11.2 percent. Here, too, the left stands at exactly 5 percent.

After it had even looked at times during the election campaign that the Union and the SPD would not even be able to reach a majority in the next Bundestag, this scenario did not come true. Which additional coalitions are now possible will only become apparent in the course of the evening. A traffic light coalition (SPD, Greens and FDP) obviously has enough seats in any case, as does “Jamaica” (CDU, Greens and FDP). Should the Left Party manage to re-enter the Bundestag, it could barely be enough for Red-Red-Green (SPD, Greens and Left).

If the projections were valid, the SPD would have received about as many votes as expected, but the Union would have caught up again in the end. For the Greens, the result would be worse than in the latest polls, after the party was even at the top for a short time in the spring, but then steadily lost. Behind it, the numbers fit a little better, except for the left. After the party had been stable at around 6 to 7 percent, there must now be trembling about re-entry into the Bundestag.

Compared to the 2017 federal election, the emerging result means a low blow for the Union parties, a significant recovery for the SPD and apparently the best result for any other party. Even the 32.9 percent four years ago were the second worst result for the Union, the SPD had even reached its all-time low with 20.5 percent. So it went significantly down for the Union, the Social Democrats are now scratching their second worst result of 2013 (25.7 percent). The FDP had achieved the best result so far apart from the SPD and Union in 2009 with 14.6 percent, which the Greens could now top. The FDP was able to roughly maintain its 2017 result (10.7), for the AfD it went worse and the left has possibly even lost more than 4 percent.

In the afternoon, comparably high or higher intermediate results in voter turnout compared to the previous federal election were reported from various federal states. The significantly higher proportion of postal voters also contributed to this. This could also ensure that the first election forecasts shortly after the polling stations are closed are less accurate than in the past.

There had been major problems in Berlin, where the House of Representatives was also elected to the Bundestag and a referendum was pending. Long queues had formed in numerous polling stations, and sometimes you had to wait well over an hour to make your crosses. There were also mishaps, including swapped ballot papers in two polling stations and a defective locking system that could only be circumvented with the help of the fire brigade.

The Chancellor candidate of the Union parties, Armin Laschet, received a lot of malice on election Sunday. With his wife he cast his vote in Aachen, but folded the ballot paper the wrong way round. This made it clear who he voted for. So normally he and his wife should have voted again. Because he had elected his own party, it could not be seen as influencing the voters, the Federal Returning Officer announced on Twitter. So there were no consequences.