Germany election: Juncker reflects on Merkel’s time in office
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Angela Merkel, Germany’s long-standing chancellor, will bow out of the political fray after this election. However, the results were surprisingly close, with a long and complex period of coalition negotiations now almost certain, during which ‘mutti’ – or ‘mummy’, as Germans call Ms Merkel – will remain in place as caretaker. Here are all the results in what turned out to be a surprisingly nail-biting race.
Results in full
The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) have narrowly beaten Ms Merkels’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and its sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).
Preliminary results show the SPD with 25.7 percent of the vote, with CDU/CSU on 24.1 percent.
In third is the Greens, with 14.8 percent, followed by the Free Democrats (FDP) on 11.8 percent.
Right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) came in fifth with 10.3 percent, and the Left Party is in sixth with 4.9 percent.
Who will replace Merkel?
With results this close, it will take some time before a proper picture emerges of what a new government will look like and who the leader will be.
SPD leader Olaf Scholz says he has a clear mandate to form a government, but his CDU rival, Armin Laschet, is determined to fight on.
Mr Scholz told a televised audience voters had given him the job of forming a “good, pragmatic government for Germany”.
Mr Laschet hit back, saying it was about forging a coalition, not about getting “an arithmetic majority”.
CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak did not gloss over the defeat early on Monday but said that was not the point.
He said: “In the end the question is going to be can you create a genuine project for the future?”
Ms Merkel will remain in her post until a coalition is formed, and experts have said this could drag on into 2022.
Who will form a coalition?
The SPD and CDU have governed together for years but are unlikely to continue.
Instead, the Greens and liberals are looking for a role in a new coalition, with the opportunity to play kingmaker wide open.
Together, the parties make up over a quarter of the vote and would carry both of the big parties over the line.
The two left-wing parties attracted the most support from younger voters, in an election dominated by climate change.
The Greens missed their target, but still made history with almost 15 percent of the vote.
This was the worst-ever performance for conservative parties in Germany.
So of all the possible coalitions, the Greens and the liberals feature in the two that are most likely to form.
One is the so-called traffic-light coalition, made up of the parties’ colours – red (SPD), yellow (FDP) and the Greens – or there’s the Jamaica alternative, black (CDU), yellow (FDP) and the Greens.
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