Going into election, Germans are happy with their economy and political establishment

Frederick Owens
September 20, 2017

Far-right candidates such as the Netherland's Geert Wilders and France's Marine Le Pen have instead fallen short in their respective elections, and the AfD is certain to be shut out of any potential coalition government. No other issue is as important to Germans.Merkel made an admirable moral stand when she opened the door for millions of refugees from Syria and Iraq over the last two years to settle in Germany. But the waiting is now about to come to an end.

Germany's bone-hard stance on Europe's response to dealing with Greece's debt mountain has hardly endeared it to a nation labouring under the effects of austerity that multiple bailouts have engendered.

The latest opinion polls show Merkel's conservative bloc failing to win the all-important 40 percent of the vote that would give the conservative bloc a vantage point since it could make coalition building less complicated.

Zeyad can stay in Germany but now he has nowhere to live or work.

In Germany, AFD (Alternative fϋr Deutschland) is expected to gain sufficient support nationally to take seats in the Reichstag for the first time, potentially establishing itself as the joint third largest party in Germany in terms of seats.

Interestingly, Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) is accentuating a country in which people live well and happy ("For a Germany in which we live well and happily") as if the CDU has not been the main ruling party since 2005. Parties rank their candidates, who are elected in that order based on the number of votes received. She noted that an AfD poster showing a pregnant woman with the slogan, "We can make our own Germans", was an attempt to combine anti-abortion and anti-immigrant sentiment.

Support for the AfD-at least so far-has coincided with the decline of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for action to be taken to fix the reputation of the country's auto industry. One day it's about campaigning for social justice, another it's about improving education, all of which are noble themes.

The SPD, now junior partners in Merkel's coalition government, scored 22 percent - down 1.5 points on the previous week.

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With practically all German parties paying campaign money to Google, Facebook and Twitter, this is the first time that USA internet companies are playing such a central role during the German election. The business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) and the anti-immigration, euro-hostile Alternative for Germany (AfD) were both on 10 percent.

However, the enthusiasm for the party's new leader, former head of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, proved temporary, and the SPD is unlikely to do much better than its score in previous elections (23% in 2009 and nearly 26% in 2013).

Often viewed as Merkel's natural allies, the socially liberal FDP were part of her second government from 2009 to 2013.

Merkel and Lindner might not be able to muster enough votes to form the next coalition. Just imagine the haggling involved about which party would get the all-important finance ministry and which one would get the foreign ministry.

Should coalition talks between the CDU and smaller parties fail to produce an agreement, the conservatives may have no choice but to revisit their current alliance with the center left, which could again leave the FDP in the opposition. Therefore, Merkel and the CDU/CSU nearly certainly won't have the majority to govern alone; they will need a coalition partner or partners.

Germany's Left Party (Die Linke), however, presents an entirely different picture.

This effect can have major consequences for the process of coalition building.

SPD leader Martin Schulz told supporters in the city of Freiburg yesterday that he would not be disheartened by the party's performance in the polls, one of which showed support for the SPD hitting an eight-month low of 20%.

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