News

Sep 25, 2017

Election explainer: what happened in the German election?

Angela Merkel has retained the Chancellorship -- just -- and faces a series of challenges in the months ahead.

Charlie Lewis — Journalist

Charlie Lewis

Journalist

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has held on to win a fourth term as leader of her country. But the conservative Christian Democratic Union of Germany and Christian Social Union bloc that she leads suffered many blows -- a humbling slump in her vote and a surge in support for the far right -- that will temper any celebrations. Merkel is considered Europe's most powerful political and a key bulwark against the influence of Vladimir Putin; what does this election mean for her, Germany, and Europe?

How did it break down?

In concert with many elections around the world in the previous couple of years: mainstream parties saw their vote shares plummet, with fringe populist parties mopping up the difference. In this case the CDU/CSU bloc secured 238 seat with 32.9% of the vote -- down nearly 10% from 2013, and their worst result since 1949. It was even worse for their main rival, the Social Democrats who slumped to just over 20% -- their worst performance since 1933. And, to use one of the more ominous phrases available to humans, speaking of things that haven't happened in Germany since the 1930s...

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions

19 comments

Join the conversation

The Crikey comment section is members-only content. Please login or sign up for a FREE trial to engage in the commentary.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...