More than 60 million Germans are summoned this Sunday to elect their representatives in the Bundestag. The appointment to decide the course of the country after the Merkel era is conditioned by the high number of citizens who do not know who to vote for within hours of the elections. The Forsa demographic institute estimated on Friday 26% of the census to be those who either already know that they will not vote this Sunday or have not decided what to do.
The high percentage of undecided adds even more uncertainty to an election in which the two majority parties, the Social Democrats of the SPD and the Christian Democrats of the CDU, are very evenly matched, although with a slight advantage over the former. The lack of a leading figure like Chancellor Angela Merkel increases the volume of undecided at a time when the majority parties are losing their power of attraction. The votes are less and less captive and fluctuate more easily from one option to another. Both the Christian Democratic candidate (CDU), Armin Laschet, and the Social Democrat, Olaf Scholz, have reiterated this morning when voting their calls for participation in a decisive day.
This Sunday, the center of Berlin has dawned with cuts in many streets. The reason is not the federal elections, but the marathon that this year brings together some 25,000 people. In addition to electing members of the Lower House of Parliament, there are also regional elections in Berlin and in the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. In addition, in the capital, a non-binding referendum is held on the expropriation of homes from the large holders. But these are all minor battles. The most important thing is the Bundestag. And the government to get out of there.
The parties have appealed in the last days of the campaign to the vote of the undecided. There you can decide very open elections, vital for the future of Germany and Europe. Despite a campaign very focused on national issues, the government that comes out of these elections will have a leading voice in the major issues that affect Europe: reform of spending rules, response to the challenge of immigration and climate change and how face a global panorama in which the United States retreats with its eyes on the Pacific and the EU tries to stop its specific weight loss.
Armin Laschet (for the CDU) and Olaf Scholz (for the SPD) are the main contenders in a battle in which it will also be key to observe what happens with the Greens and with the liberals of the FDP. These two parties can collide with both Laschet and Scholz. “Among the undecided there are more ex-voters from Angela Merkel’s party than from the Social Democrats,” explains Manfred Güllner, from Forsa. “It is questionable that the mobilization of the CDU in the last hours before the elections will significantly reduce the gap with the SPD. Although it is not impossible ”, he adds.
“The situation is very dynamic,” explained this week Judith Klose, head of communication at the Civey demographic institute, which conducts online opinion polls. “It is very difficult to know what will happen. Many citizens will have voted by mail and it is impossible to know at what point in the campaign they did so and what might have influenced them. Also, this year we have more people who decide at the last minute, “he said in a meeting with journalists. The expert reviewed the trends of the parties during the campaign, in which it is observed that the trajectory of the SPD in voting intention has always been upward, while those of CDU-CSU and Los Verdes have suffered ups and downs.
Civey analyzes the potential of parties by asking citizens who they imagine voting for. The CDU obtained 40% before the summer, but this week it was already at 30%, while 32% of those polled imagined themselves voting for the SPD, whose percentage has not stopped growing in recent weeks. According to their polls, the three main themes of the campaign have been the environment, pensions and social protection and the economy. The results will begin to be known from six in the afternoon, when the polling stations close.
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