By a narrow margin, the Social Democratic Party, SPD, has claimed victory over Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the centrist-right, conservative party, but even the SPD will need a coalition deal to form a government.
The Federal Returning Officer website said the SPD won 25.7%of the vote, followed by the CDU/CSU bloc which received 24.1%, and the Green Party with 14.8% of votes, after a count of all 299 of Germany’s “constituencies” or electoral districts.
The final official results might take weeks to compute and release officially, giving the SPD ample time for coalition negotiations. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel is expected to stay in office until the coalition negotiations throw up a successor.
“The voters have decided that the SPD, Social Democratic Party, has gained, and this is a great success,” said SPD leader Olaf Scholz in remarks at his party’s headquarters.
Scholz said the voters wanted him to be the next chancellor. “Many citizens have put their crosses next to the SPD because they want there to be a change in government and also because they want the next chancellor of this country to be called Olaf Scholz.”
Scholz, 63, was very visible as Germany navigated the COVID pandemic, and served as the vice-chancellor and German finance minister in Merkel’s grand coalition government since 2018.
“Pragmatism, optimism, unity that is what we will show because that is what counts, and I am sure the citizens will also be happy post-election about their decision,” Scholz added.