Germany election: Juncker reflects on Merkel's time in office
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The centre-left SPD were on course for victory with 25.5 percent of the vote, projections for broadcaster ARD showed, and ahead of 24.5 percent for Mrs Merkel’s CDU/CSU conservative bloc. But both political parties remain confident they could lead the next Government. The incredibly close-run election will likely trigger lengthy coalition talks before a new Government is able to take office, likely involving the Greens and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP).
Olaf Scholz, the SPD’s chancellor candidate, told jubilant supporters: “This is going to be a long election evening, that is certain.
“But it is also certain that many put their cross by the SPD because they want the next chancellor of Germany to be called Olaf Scholz,”
Conservative candidate rmin Laschet, said the election was “a neck and neck” race and said his party would fight right to the end.
He told supporters: “We have no clear final result, no certain numbers.
“We will do everything to form a conservative-led government, because Germany needs a future-oriented coalition that modernises our country.”
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Germany election LIVE: Olaf Scholz’s SPD have edged ahead in projected results (Image: GETTY)
Germany election: Angela Merkel will retire from domestic politics after 16 years as Chancellor (Image: GETTY)
- Germans prefer SPD-led Government – survey 21:05
- Laschet vows to try to build conservative-led government 20:55
- SPD extend lead over CDU/CSU in latest projected results 18:53
- Exit polls edge SPD ahead of CDU/CSU coalition 18:43
- ‘The SPD are back!’ Scholz’s party go on the attack 18:35
- First exit poll shows CDU/CSU and SPD in dead heat 17:22
- Huge chaos reported at polling stations in Berlin 16:48
Merkel’s voters have moved on
As Angela Merkel’s leadership draws to a close, it appears voters in her former constituency in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern have decided to move on themselves.
The constituency which voted overwhelmingly for the CDU in 2017 has now turned its back on Merkel.
RND reports that according to partial results, SPD candidate Anna Kassautzki is ranking first at 24.3 percent, while the CDU's candidate Georg Günther, comes in second at 20.6 percent.
Ms Kassautzki ranks narrowly ahead of AfD candidate Leif-Erik Holm, who reached 20.1 percent.
Armin Laschet hopes coalition will ‘modernize’ Germany
Would-be chancellor Armin Laschet of the CDU party, has said Germany needs a coalition that will ‘modernize’ the country.
Speaking on stage at his party’s headquarters, Mr Laschet said: ” We will do everything possible to form a government under the leadership of the Union.
” Germany now needs a coalition for the future that will modernize our country.”
Oliver Trapnell takes over from Paul Withers
FDP and Greens favourites among first time voters
A survey of first time voters has been published by broadcaster ARD, which show the FDP as the most popular party in that group, with 23 percent.
The Greens follow closely behind on 22 percent.
The SPD, led by chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz, scored just 15 percent, while the CDU/CSU secured just 10 percent.
Germans prefer SPD-led Government – survey
A survey has been published by the polling institute Forschungsgruppe Wahlen that shows more than half (55 percent) of Germans would prefer a Government led by the SPD.
This is up by 19 percentage points from the last election in 2017.
Only just over a third (36 percent) of respondents want the CDU to lead a new Government.
Laschet vows to try to build conservative-led government
Armin Laschet expressed his disappointment with the early results coming from the Germany election but said he would do everything possible to build a conservative-led government.
Following the release of projected results putting his conservative bloc slightly behind the Social Democrats, he told supporters: “We cannot be satisfied with the results of the election.
“We will do everything possible to build a conservative-led government because Germans now need a future coalition that modernises our country.
“It will probably be the first time that we will have a government with three partners.”
SPD extend lead over CDU/CSU in latest projected results
The projected results show the SPD extending its lead over the CDU/CSU coalition.
Germany’s Government alliance is on 24.6 percent, according to the latest results by Forschungsgruppe Wahlen.
But they are now further behind the SPD, who are polling 25.7 percent.
The new exit poll from infratest dimap still has the SPD (25.2 percent) ahead of the CDU/CSU (24.6 percent).
Exit polls edge SPD ahead of CDU/CSU coalition
The latest poll by Forschungsgruppe Wahlen (Research group elections) has put Olaf Scholz’s slightly ahead.
The SPD score 26 percent – marginally ahead of the CDU/CSU with 24 percent.
The Greens are on 14.5 percent, with the FDP on 12 percent and the AfD on 10 percent.
The exit poll from infratest dimap also has the SPD edging ahead on 24.9 percent -just in front of the CDU/CSU on 24.7 percent.
The Greens are on 14.8 percent, followed by the FPD (11.7 percent) and AfD (11 percent).
This exit poll also includes postal votes.
Olaf Scholz crucial for his party among voters – compared to Armin Laschet
The exit poll figures for ARD show 37 percent of the SPD voters voted for the party because of its candidate Olaf Scholz.
This compares to just 19 percent of CDU voters who voted for the ruling party because of Mr Laschet.
‘The SPD are back!’ Scholz’s party go on the attack
Secretary General Lars Klingbeil is clearly overjoyed at how things are progressing for his party.
He told ZDF: “We fought our way back as the SPD. “The SPD is back.”
Mr Klingbeil added: “Clearly, the SPD now has the government mandate. We want Olaf Scholz to become Chancellor.”
Greens massively disappointed with exit poll result
The Greens have expressed disappointment after the latest exit polls showed the party winning between 14 and 15 percent of the vote.
Federal Managing Director Michael Kellner has seen his party grow significantly since 2017, but said: “The expectations were significantly higher.”
In regards to what may have gone wrong for the Greens with their election campaign, the Federal Managing Director said: “We made our own mistakes.”
He added previously the party said they would prefer to work with the SPD in a possible coalition Government, but has also said: “We are ready to talk to all democratic parties.”
FDP deputy leader wants party to be included in ‘Jamaica’ coalition
Wolfgang Kubicki said: “Tonight we are celebrating first of all,” while reiterating his desire to govern as part of a ‘Jamaica’ coalition.
But he is also not ruling out a ‘traffic light’ coalition.
He emphasised, however, the SPD has little chance of a red-red-green coalition.
CDU loses more than two million votes to SPD and Greens
The latest ARD exit poll shows the CDU has lost 1.36 million voters to the SPD and 900,000 to the Greens.
It also shows the FDP was voted for by 340,000 people who supported the Union during the last election in 2017.
The Greens have also won 470,000 votes from the Left and 320,000 from the SPD.
Germany election LIVE: The exit polls show Armin Laschet’s CDU losing ground to the SPD (Image: GETTY)
First exit poll shows CDU/CSU and SPD in dead heat
The first exit poll has shown the CDU/CSU and SPD tied at the top as the Germany election goes right down to the wire.
Germany’s top parties are locked together on 25 percent, according to the exit poll from ARD/Infratest dimap.
The Greens are third on 15 percent, with the AFD on 11 percent.
German journalist details chaotic scene at polling station
BILD columnist Gunnar Schupelius reported: "It is 2:50 pm at polling station 712, constituency 0407, federal constituency 80 (Rüdesheimer Platz, Rüdesheimer elementary school in Wilmersdorf).
“People form an about 200 metre long queue from the elementary school across the schoolyard to the street: "You can’t really vote here," says someone.
I walk past the queue to the polling office.
“Can I vote here?” – “Yes, but only for Berlin, not the Bundestag.”
"I beg your pardon?" "Yes, we didn’t get enough ballot papers. They are all gone now. If you only want to vote for Berlin, then you can go ahead.”
“And for the Bundestag?” – “Maybe later, maybe not at all.”
“You can't be serious!” – “Yes, we wanted to get ballot papers from Charlottenburg by taxi, but it didn’t get through.. Marathon.”
“How long will it take now?” – “No idea!”
Germany election LIVE: Huge queues have been forming at polling stations (Image: GETTY)
CDU politician rages at ‘pure chaos’ and huge queues at poling stations after voting
Monika Grütters, who voted in the Cecilien elementary school in Wilmersdorf, told BILD: "I got one of the last ballot papers – after one-and-a-half hours of queuing.
“I find the organisation irresponsible. Pure chaos.
“Why don’t the regional returning officers and the Senate get this organised – and why did they organise a marathon on the same day?”
Huge chaos reported at polling stations in Berlin
There is massive chaos at polling stations being reported by German daily BILD, particularly in the Berlin districts of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Friedrichshain.
Many places are not only missing the ballot papers, huge queues have also formed outside polling stations.
In Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, ballot papers were copied in the town hall earlier this afternoon in order to be able to deliver them to the voting locations.
An election worker told BILD: "We are not to blame. The district office completely miss-planned. We didn’t expect the rush!”
CDU’s Chancellor candidate Laschet emphasises importance of voting in election
Germany’s conservative chancellor candidate Armin Laschet told jouirnalists after voting in his home constituency of Aachen: “We all sense that this is a very important federal election.
“It is a federal election that will decide the direction of Germany in coming years and therefore every vote counts.”
Scholz makes promise in newspaper advert ahead of election
On Sunday, the SPD’s Olaf Scholz is features in an advert published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper.
It reads: "I give you my word: With me, there is economic reason and foreign policy responsibility.
"You have never voted for the SPD? This time, many things are different."
Federal Returning Officer clears Laschet
The Federal Returning Officer clarified Laschet’s ballot mistake would not nullify his vote.
They tweeted: “In the light of current events: As expected, a nationally known politician voted for his own party. This cannot be seen as an attempt to influence voters.
“The voting rules are clear. The electoral board has to reject voters who have folded the ballot paper in such a way that their vote can be seen. This is to ensure that other voters are not influenced.
“In the case the ballot paper was folded wrong, the electoral board issues a new ballot paper.
“Should the ballot paper still make its way into the ballot box, it can no longer be sorted out and is valid.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg
(1/3) Aus aktuellem Anlass: Ein bundesweit bekannter Politiker hat wie erwartet seine eigene Partei gew\u00e4hlt. Eine W\u00e4hlerbeeinflussung kann darin nicht gesehen werden.
\u2014 Der Bundeswahlleiter (@Wahlleiter_Bund) September 26, 2021
Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock echoes calls to cast votes
Baerbock hopes for a better result for her party in the federal election than in the opinion polls.
“It will depend on every vote in this election, we have seen in the last few weeks how much things are on a knife edge,” said the Greens chairwoman on Sunday when she went to her polling station in Potsdam to vote.
“Of course we hope to get a few more votes in view of recent polling results, so that we can affect real change in this country.”
Baerbock was confident despite being in third place. “Polls are polls, today is the vote,” said the Green Chancellor candidate. After casting her vote in front of journalists, she also said how she was doing on the day of the federal election: “All of Europe is looking at this election on this Sunday here in Germany, so of course it’s an exciting day for me as a person.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallengberg
Germany election live: Green’s leader Annalena Baerbock casts her vote (Image: GETTY)
Mishaps in the election: AfD missing on the list – ballot papers swapped in Berlin
Due to a mix-up of ballot papers, delays and invalid votes occurred in some Berlin polling stations. Ballot papers from the Friedrichshain / Kreuzberg and Charlottenburg / Wilmersdorf districts were affected. In polling stations 404, 407 and 408 in the Spartacus Elementary School in Friedrichshain, according to information from the polling station, only ballot papers from Charlottenburg / Wilmersdorf were available for the House of Representatives election.
Until the correct ballot papers were delivered, the polling stations had to be temporarily closed. In addition, some votes on wrong ballot papers were declared invalid.
In Berlin, the number of people willing to vote exceeds the capacity of the polling stations in many places. On social media, users report waiting times of up to two hours. Many eligible voters gave up in annoyance and went home without casting their vote.
In Göttingen it was noticed on the Sunday morning of the federal election that the AfD was missing from the lists used to count the votes for the federal election. This was reported by the Göttinger Tageblatt [paywall].
The electoral workers enter the results in these lists after the polling stations close at 6pm.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg
Laschet’s ballot sparks doubts on validity of his vote
The CDU leader cast his vote on Sunday morning in Aachen but in doing so he disregarded one of the secrecy rules for casting a ballot.
Reports in German newspaper RND, suggest the election officer present during Mr Laschet’s voting session should have rejected his ballot.
The paper claims the CDU candidate failed to fold the ballot paper in such a way that his vote was not recognisable.
Instead, it was clear to everyone who he had voted for.
The rules provide that if a vote is made obvious, the officer must ask the voter to cast a new ballot.
As the procedure was not followed, however, Mr Laschet’s vote remains valid.
Thank you, Angela! Commissioner praises outgoing Chancellor
European Commissioner and former Italian Prime Minister thanked Angela Merkel as Germans cast their votes to replace her.
He tweeted: “We will see the results of the elections in Germany.
“Whatever happens, the protagonist of a European season leaves the scene.
“With her choices, even the most controversial, she has always sought balance and stability.
“Thanks Angela Merkel.”
SPD leader hopeful he will win election
Speaking to reporters after casting his vote, Olaf Scholz said: “It’s a very nice day today, the weather’s already a very good sign.
“And now I hope that as many citizens as possible will go to the polls, cast their votes, and make possible what’s become apparent, namely that there will be a very strong result for the Social Democrats and that citizens will give me the mandate to become the next chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.”
The SPD leader later tweeted: “Today is election day! Being able to choose is a great asset.
“Everyone who has not yet done so by postal vote or other means: Go vote and decide for a good future – for affordable housing, stable pensions and a climate-neutral economy. Let’s do it.”
Greens leader urges voters to choose ‘climate government’
Greens leader Annalena Baerbock urged voters to cast their ballots in her favour for a “climate government”.
She tweeted: “Living in a democracy means having a choice. This is a great good – let’s use it.
“It’s about the future of all of us.
“If you want a climate government, you should choose green today.”
Olaf Scholz casts his vote
The SPD leader and current frontrunner of the election cast his ballot with his wife his wife Britta Ernst.
Mr Scholz voted in his constituency, Potsdam.
The latest poll had the Chancellor hopeful at 26 percent.
Olaf Scholz casts his vote (Image: GETTY)
Newly elected MPs to meet in Parliament in a month
The new Bundestag is expected to meet for the first time on October 26.
October 26 is the last possible day for the first session of the newly elected parliament.
The newly elected Bundestag must meet for the first time no later than 30 days after the election.
New MPs will choose their faction leaders as their first task.
The FDP wants to kick off this Monday, the other parliamentary groups will follow on Tuesday.
Germans also vote in two state elections today
A new state parliament is also being elected in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the state of Berlin today.
The SPD is expected to win both races.
Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is likely to achieve a brilliant election victory.
In all surveys her SPD was most recently around 40 percent.
In Berlin, top SPD candidate Franziska Giffey has moved up from fourth to first place in recent surveys.
‘Vote today!’ Federal President pleads with Germans to cast their ballot
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called on all citizens to cast their votes in the federal election.
In a guest post for Bild, the head of state wrote: “Let’s vote together – for a strong democracy and a good future.
“Every vote counts – your vote counts.
“So I ask you: vote today!”
He continued: “Those who take part are heard.
“Those who do not vote let others decide for themselves.”
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