Germany’s centre-left party, the Social Democrats (SPD), have declared victory in the 2021 German Federal Election after a narrow win against the conservatives. Emily Jackson explains the consequences of this.
Despite it being a narrow election, this was the worst-ever performance for the CDU-CSU Party.
After the Green Party of Germany and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), a liberal party, enjoyed great success in the election Olaf Scholz, the leader of the SPD Party, stated that it is now time for a new coalition between the Greens and the liberals. The Greens and liberals were immensely popular for those under-30, in which they attracted the most support from the demographic. The Greens have cemented their place in German politics with nearly 15 percent of the overall vote
However, in an election dominated by climate-change and the Green’s ambitious plan for connecting train routes across the whole of Europe, the end result fell short of their desires. Annalena Baerbock, the leader of the Greens expresses her disappointment at the final results for the party:
“We wanted more. We didn’t manage that, partly because of the mistakes at the start of the campaign – mistakes I made.”
What happens to Angela Merkel?
After being holding the position of Chancellor for over fifteen years, Merkel is wanted out by the winning Social Democrats party. The SPD and CDU (plus their Bavarian sister party, the CSU) have governed together for years.
“I think that the people in Germany want the Christian Democratic Union in opposition.” – Olaf Scholz
Despite what the SPD want, Merkel is not going anywhere until the coalition is formed. For an election which took place in September, this could be as late as Christmas. The main parties in Germany want to have a new government by January, when Germany assumes leadership of the G7 group of nations.
This is the first time that Germany is faced with a three-way coalition.
A lot is expected of the next Chancellor who will come into power as they are tasked which leading the foremost economy of Europe for four years as well as tackling an issue at the top of many voters’ agendas – climate change.
What does an SPD Germany look like?
Throughout the lifetime of the SPD, the main and core focus has been social policy. The party wants the minimum wage to be increased to twelve euros an hour as well as introducing a minimum old-age pension to be topped up with further state revenue. Throughout the election, the party discussed the tax system and wants to introduce a wealth tax of 1% on what they call “very high wealth” as well as minimising and reducing the tax burden placed on low and medium income earners. In order to do this, the SPD are in talks of raising the marginal income tax rate to forty-five percent on people who earn over €90,000 and forty-eight percent for incomes over €250,000 (or €500,000 for families).
Germany is going through a big political change from the stability of Merkel over fifteen years in the role to a three-way coalition. This will dramatically alter the political landscape and possibly put climate change front and centre, however very little will change until at least December.
Article edited by Connor Wade – Politics Editor
Header designed by Molly Goldby – Assistant Head of Design