On Sunday September 24, German citizens will head to the polls to elect their new government in the last in a string of pivotal national elections to be held across Europe this year.
Incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel is hoping to secure her fourth term in power, but with anti-establishment opponents continuing to capture segments of the electorate it is likely that she will fall short of the support required to secure a majority.
The means she would have to strike another coalition deal with one or more of the country's opposition parties.
Christian Democratic Union + Christian Social Union – 38%
Social Democratic Party (SPD) – 24%
Free Democratic Party (FDP) – 8%
Green Party (Greens) – 8%
Die Linke (The Left) –9%
Alternative for Germany (AfD) – 9%
Current Emnid polls show Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and its sister Christian Social Union (CSU), taking just over a third of votes. This would likely lead to one of two possible alliances – a CSU/CDU-FDP-Green coalition or a CSU/CDU-SPD coalition.
Such partnerships with the CSU/CDU and the SPD and the FDP, respectively, have occurred before: the CDU/CSU is currently in 'a grand coalition' with the SPD. But with a new leader at the helm of the SPD, and the parties ideologically opposed on major EU issues, Germany's continued stance on the European project looks in contention.