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Friday, September 06, 2013 12:42 PM

"Grand Coalition" Led by Merkel, Not Going to Happen; Expect a Shocker in Germany Election

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I am going to stick my neck out with a pair of predictions:

  1. Forget about a "Grand Coalition" led by Merkel. It's not going to happen.
  2. The AfD anti-euro party will be in the next German parliament.

AfD had been polling around 2.5%. However, in the wake of Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) stating a need for more aid for Greece, one pollster has AfD at 4%.

Reader Bernd from Germany (not AfD party leader Bernd Lucke) says the 4% figure is significant. If a party shows four percent in polls, potential voters are drawn in because they no longer fear their vote will be "lost", due to the 5% threshold.

The election is on September 22. Yet 30 percent of voters are still undecided.

Coalition Possibilities

  1. "Same" CDU/CSU + FDP
  2. "Grand Coalition" CDU + SPD led by Merkel
  3. "Grand Coalition" CDU + SPD led by someone else
  4. "Red Green Coalition" SPD + Grüne (Greens) + DieLinke
  5. "CDU/CSU+AfD Coalition" 

IF FDP can reach 5% of the vote, it is possible the same yellow-black coalition (CDU/CSU+FDP) rules as today. If FDP fails to reach 5%, then several alternate scenarios come into play:

There has been no talk at all of possibility number five above. Yet, if AfD can gather 6-7% (a number I think is possible), then there could be a coalition that includes AfD.

None of the "Grand Coalitions" seem stable.

Reader Bernd Comments
  • FDP does not make (or barely makes) the 5% margin in two polls
  • AfD is at 4% in at least one poll
  • 35% of voters are undecided, so much movement to come
  • Recent momentum has been away from CDU
  • In the "undecided" voter column, Steinbrück leads 44% over Merkel 38%.
  • A big problem for CDU and Merkel is to get their supporters to vote. CDU and Merkel followers are deeply convinced that Merkel has such a massive lead, that there is no cause for fear.
  • The State elections in Bavaria are held one week before federal elections. In Bavaria, Steinbrück's SPD will be trounced. Less than 20% of popular votes are a real possibility and might put a serious damper on the mood for the SPD in the last week of federal campaigning.
  • Die Linke is stable. However, many "Die Linke" voters are probably hidden in the undecided block. I would give them more than 9%

After reading, analyzing and comparing statistics, figures and the whole nine yards, my latest prediction is as follows:

  • CDU/CSU: 37%
  • SPD: 24%
  • Grüne: 11%
  • Die Linke: 10%
  • AfD: 06%
  • FDP: 05%
  • Total: 94%
  • Lost votes due to 5% threshold: 6%

I have the most serious difficulty to assess FDP. It is really  possible, they might not make it into Parliament. Reason: most Germans highly prefer a coalition between CDU/CSU and SPD over the current one of CDU/CSU and FDP.

Such being the case, strategic voters might support CDU directly, rather than giving their votes to FDP (remember, Germans have two votes, so "strategic splitting" is common).

The real dark horse is the AfD.

AfD is perceived to be positioned firmly in the center-right of the German political spectrum.

In reality, this is not so. AfD is more libertarian than right. But who would know the difference in a country, where being called a NAZI has become an every day affair of political opponent bashing.

If FDP and AfD make it into Parliament, a coalition between CDU/CSU/AfD/FDP might be an option for a stable Government. In reality, their positions are a lot closer together, than most people think or perceive.

Mr. Steinbrück will not be part of a "grand coalition".

Clearly, and there can not be any doubt: German voters want a grand coalition, with Mm Merkel as Chancellor and Steinbrück as second in command. Yet, Steinbrück has repeatedly said, again and again, he can only be the "King of Schnitzel" or he will resign as a politician after the campaign. I tend to believe him!

SPD party leader, Mr. Gabriel, may enter a Grand Coalition, but such an arrangement may not be very stable. If SPD goes for such a coalition, it will be the final demise of that party.

Best wishes
Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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