Germany’s Social Democrats narrowly won Sunday’s national election, projected results showed, and claimed a “clear mandate” to lead a government for the first time since 2005 and to end 16 years of conservative-led rule under Angela Merkel.
SPD leader Olaf Scholz said he had a clear mandate to form a government, while his conservative rival Armin Laschet remains determined to fight on. The two parties have governed together for years. But Mr Scholz says it is time for a new coalition with the Greens and liberals. Preliminary results gave his party a narrow election win over the conservatives who suffered their worst-ever performance. The Greens and pro-business FDP attracted the most support from the under-30s, in an election dominated by climate change and by differing proposals on how to tackle it. The Greens made history with almost 15% of the vote, even though it was well short of their ambitions. It was the tightest race in years, bringing an end to the post-war domination of the two big parties – Mr Scholz’s SPD and his rival’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The top brass for all parties in the Bundestag will be meeting shortly, with press conferences expected throughout the morning and early afternoon. The main topic of discussion today amongst the strongest four parties — the CDU, SPD, Greens, and pro-business FDP — is likely to be their party’s role in Germany’s possible future coalition government.