German election results 2021: Which German coalitions are still possible?

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The German election 2021 is over, but the final outcome could be weeks or even months away with projections showing the election is still too close to call, but a coalition is looking inevitable. With the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU)/Christian Social Union (CSU) within a percentage point of one another, forming a new coalition in Germany is going to be a tense undertaking. has explored the possible coalition outcomes still on the table if the exit polls prove accurate.

The Forschunsgrupp Wahlen exit poll has revealed the SPD is likely to make gains from Germany’s ageing population.

Of those aged 60 and above, support for the SPD was estimated to be at 35 percent – a rise of 11 percentage points from the last election.

Those aged under 30 have thrown their support behind the Greens (rising 11 percent) and FDP (rising seven percent) from 2017.

The Greens gained a total of 22 percent of support from under 30s today, compared to 20 percent for the FDP.

The SPD, curiously, are expected to fall two percentage points on the last election among those under the age of 30, despite rising four to five percent nationally.

Two exit polls were published earlier today in the wake of polling day in Germany.

The first from broadcaster ARD suggested the race between the SPD and CDU/CSU is extremely close with each projected to win 25.7 and 24.5 percent respectively.

The poll revealed the Greens could be on track to win as much as 14.3 percent, with the far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD) predicted to gain 10.5 percent of the vote share.

The FDP is forecast to get 11.5 percent, Die Linke five percent and others 8.5 percent.

In the second poll, published by broadcaster ZDF, the SPD walked away with a narrow lead with 26 percent of the vote, compared to 24 percent of the CDU/CSU.

The Greens are projected to gain 14.5 percent, FDP 12 percent and AfD 10 percent.

Die Linke is forecast to gain five percent, while other parties are expected to win 8.5 percent of the vote.

Which German coalitions are possible?

As no party is projected to win an outright majority, a coalition is still the most likely outcome.

Given the close race, several coalition options are possible.

Traffic light coalition (centre-left) – SPD, Green and FDP – 56 percent of seats

This is the most likely outcome in the race with the SPD, Greens and FDP hammering out a so-called “traffic light” coalition in the next four to eight weeks.

However, if the FDP makes too many demands at the expected tax increases from the two left-leaning parties, it could refuse to join.

Wolfgang Kubicki, deputy chairman of the FPD, told ARD television: “We want to be part of the Government.”

The FPD has a “pretty clear” preference for a so-called Jamaica coalition with the CDU/CSU and the Greens, Mr Kubicki said.

But he didn’t want to rule out a “traffic light” coalition with the SPD and the Greens.

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Jamaica coalition – CDU/CSU, FDP and Greens – 55 percent of seats

This coalition, named after the Jamaican flag, would see the conservative CDU/CSU join with the liberal FDP and the Greens.

CDU/CSU leader Armin Laschet said the result is currently “neck-and-neck” and that the party has lost its incumbency bonus with the departure of Ms Merkel.

He said the most likely next Government will be formed of a three-party coalition, adding his party would try its utmost to lead that government – with its preferred coalition being the Jamaica coalition.

The Greens co-party leader Robert Habeck said CDU/CSU losses could not be “sugarcoated”.

He said: “One thing is obvious.”

Mr Habeck added: “If it turns out that Jamaica could have a majority in parliament, then we have to talk about it.”

Germany coalition – CDU/CSU, SPD and FDP – 68 percent of seats

This coalition is named after the German flag and could happen if both the CDU/CSU and SPD fail to get a majority between them.

Smaller parties like the FDP could then join forces with the two major parties to form a coalition.

Labor Minister Hubertus Heil of the SPD has rejected a continuation of the grand coalition between the SPD and the CDU/CSU.

This means it is unlikely there will be a coalition involving the two major parties in any coalition breakdown.

Mr Heil told Bild: “For me, that is not a preferred option.

“There are majorities beyond the grand coalition.”

Kenya coalition – CDU/CSU, SPD and the Greens – 69.8 percent share of seats

A Kenya coalition would see the two main parties team up with the Greens.

The best chance for this scenario would be if the SPD finishes first and the CDU is willing to play second fiddle – but it is unlikely this would be the case.

Especially as both parties would likely see the same lack of ambition which has characterised the past few years of the Mickey Mouse coalition.

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