(19:00 Berlin Time): According to the exit polls released just an hour ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU is projected to win the plurality of seats in the Bundestag. However the numbers suggest that she will likely be forced to form a “grand coalition” with her political rivals as her SPD allies are kicked out of the Bundestag for the first time in more than 60 years.
The result from the exit poll conducted by the German television station ARD are as follows:
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 42.0 %
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 26.0%;
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 4.7%;
The Left (Die Linke) 8.5%;
Alternative for Germany (AfD) 4.9%,
Pirate Party (Piraten) 2.5%
What remains to be seen is whether AfD and the FDP can inch over that 5% threshold that is necessary for parliamentary representation. The fate of the future governing coalition is dependent on the outcome of these two parties.
(19:40 Berlin Time): As the results start to trickle in, German television stations ARD and ZDF are revising their projections. As of right now, Angela Merkel’s CDU is on track to win not just a plurality but a bona fide majority of the seats in the Bundestag. Obviously these are only projections and the results could change at any time. But if she does pull it off, Merkel would be the first Chancellor to win an outright majority since Konrad Adenauer in 1949. It would be quite a feat indeed.
(23:00 Berlin Time): As of now 64% of precincts are reporting in and the CDU/CSU coalition’s lead is holding firm. ARD and ZDF are split as to whether Merkel will get a majority in the Bundestag, but both have her between 41.7 and 42.1. If she can get over 42%, then her prospects for a majority will look very good indeed. The main districts that are still undeclared are mostly in eastern Germany and we hope that they’ll start reporting pretty soon.