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Bundestagswahl 2013: Angela Merkel looks set to retain position as Chancellor
On the 22nd September 2013, Europe’s largest economic power, Germany, goes to the polls to determine the 598 members of the Bundestag, the main federal legislative house of Germany. If early indications are anything to go by, current Bundeskanzlerin (Chancellor) Angela Merkel will remain in place as head of government.
Polls from five leading survey companies (Allensbach, Emnid, FG Wahlen, Forsa, and Infratest) place the Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands’ (CDU) share of the vote at between 39% and 42%, as compared to 22%-25% for Peer Steinbrück’s Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD). Furthermore, in a poll carried out by Infratest, which asked respondents who they would vote for as Chancellor if they could vote directly for the position, 55% chose Merkel as opposed to just 22% for Steinbrück. Despite this positive outlook, it appears unlikely that the CDU will secure the 300 seats required for a majority with estimates ranging from 256 to 273 at present. This means that yet another coalition could be necessary, with current partner the Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP) in pole position to retain control of key positions such as Foreign Minister and Minister of Health.
Since the last election was held in September 2009, a great deal has happened, most notably with several of Germany’s fellow Eurozone members, and the fact that the CDU is surging ahead in opinion polls suggests that many Germans feel Merkel and her government has reacted swiftly and decisively. Despite some disgruntlement among Germans about the costs they have had to bear to help the likes of Greece and Portugal, 58% of respondents to an ARD poll said they agreed with the course of action the government has pursued and that it should do everything within its power to save the single currency. This marks a volte-face when one looks at the results of a similar poll last year in which 68% of those asked said they favored a return to the Deutschmark.
Without the Euro, growth of real GDP in Germany would be lower by an estimated 0.5% per year between 2013 and 2025 according to a study by Bertelsmann. This equates to €1,100 (approximately $1,414) per citizen. These numbers imply that the government’s policy of supporting struggling Eurozone members is prudent. Furthermore, it seems as if it will also see Frau Merkel remain in the position she has held since 2005, namely that of the country’s first Bundeskanzlerin.
For a detailed PESTLE analysis of Germany, see the ‘MarketLine Country Analysis Report on Germany’.