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German Social Democrats’ lead narrows days before election By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A combination of four images shows placards of Germany’s top candidates for the September 26 German general elections being placed on large boards. The top row shows Armin Laschet of the Christian Democratic Union Party CDU and Olaf Scholz o

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) saw their lead over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives narrow in a poll published on Tuesday, pointing to a tightening race just five days before a federal election.

According to the Forsa poll, 25 percent of SPD voters remained unaffected by Olaf Scholz’s candidacy for chancellor. Scholz was also currently finance minister and vice-chancellor in Merkel’s grand alliance.

Armin Laschet (the chancellor candidate for conservative CDU/CSU) saw his support increase by one point to 22 percent.

Other parties were unchanged, with 17% support for the Greens, 11% support for the Business-Friendly Free Democrats (FDP), 11% support from the AfD, and 6% support for the Anti-Capitalist Left Party.

Forsa predicted that the SPD would be elected to the Bundestag (lower house of parliament), with the CDU/CSU bloc at 185 and 140 seats, respectively, and that the FDP, AfD and both the Greens will win 49 and 91, respectively.

This raises the possibility of four coalition options after Sunday’s election:

– the SPD with the Greens and FDP, also known as a traffic light coalition due to their party colours of red, green and yellow;

– the CDU/CSU bloc with the Greens and the FDP, described as a Jamaica coalition in reference to the country’s flag and the party colours of black, green and yellow;

– SPD with the Greens and the Left, dubbed R2G or red-green-red coalition;

– or an SPD-led grand coalition with the conservatives as junior partner.

The populist and far-right AfD has been ruled out by all parties.

Scholz, the Greens and other parties have also dismissed the notion of creating a coalition alongside the conservatives. According to Scholz, the CDU/CSU alliance must rebuild itself after 16 years under Merkel’s centrist, consensus-driven rule.

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