EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

German Vote: Angela Merkel’s clear win

  • September 23rd, 2013
  • Posted by EU Australia

Merkel A portraitThe German Chancellor, Angela Merkel,  has claimed an early victory in Sunday’s German elections, with the possibility of getting an historic absolute majority in the lower house of parliament.

After early counting the Chancellor’s Christian Democrat party (together with the allied Christian Social Union in Bavaria) had 42.5% of the votes, with 45% the projected figure for obtaining a majority in the 606-member Bundestag.

A problem for the government was a poor showing by its coalition partners, the right-liberal Free Democrats, possibly bumped out of parliament altogether by a new party running on an anti-Euroepan Union platform.

The Social Democrat opposition  made some small gains against its defeat in 2009, obtaining a little over 25% of votes on polling night; and retaining the possibility of going into a grand coalition with the Chancellor — if needed for the sake of a stable majority.

The German parliament has not seen a single party with an absolute majority since the days of Konrad Adenauer leading the Christian Democrat bloc in the 1950s.

Dr Merkel, 59, experienced a personal triumph, seen as a moderate firm hand, overseeing a strong economy with low unemployment.

This was a “fantastic result” she said, as the exit polls came in, and showed “extraordinary trust”.

Her handling of the European financial crisis, supporting weaker economies especially Greece for the sake of Europe’s stability, yet imposing hard conditions, enough to satisfy public opinion in Germany, has brought her praise for  equanimity and political sense.