Germany’s political uncertainty looks to enter its next phase, as the Social Democrats (SPD) conclude a party-wide vote on a proposed grand coalition with Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc today.
Last September’s inconclusive elections have affected the longest period of political uncertainty since the post-war republic’s creation. With the vote anticipated to be down to the wire, party leaders from both sides have been maximising efforts to push their visions for Germany’s next four years. The SPD has currently near 20% in national polls, and any fresh election would not only mark an electoral wipeout for the party but also guarantee increased support for the far-right AFD. Additionally, with SPD leader Martin Schulz driven out over intra-party fighting over the deal, the SPD has focused on promoting the control they would gain over the foreign and finance ministries under the deal. The party is determined to show that its short-term future depends on the coalition.
Resentment towards the deal from the SPD’s grassroots remains high, and internal division over the deal remains likely. However, with Chancellor Merkel having received approval for the deal from her conservative bloc, most SPD members will not want to risk fresh elections. If the coalition enters government, this may well be Angela Merkel’s final term as Chancellor.
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Kai looks at security and political turbulence in the emerging market economies and also serves as a publisher with The Daily Brief.