In Major Disappointment, Merkel Wins German Election Despite Worst Result Since 1949; AfD Surges To Enter Parliament

Update: FX markets just opened and as expected there is some Euro-selling pressure in the early going...


Update: here is the latest breakdown according to ARD:

  • Merkel’s CDU/CSU projected to win 32.9% of votes
  • SPD projected to win 20.8%
  • AfD projected to win 13.1%
  • FDP projected to win 10.5%
  • Greens projected to win 8.9%
  • Left projected to win 8.9%

The following Bloomberg projection of the Bundestag's projected seat breakdown shows just how strong the AfD surge has been in context, and how splintered Germany's establishment is as a result.

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The German polls have officially closed, and the first exit polls numbers come in, confirming the expected fourth victory for Angela Merkel's CDU/CSU, however getting a unexpectedly low 32.5% of the vote, which according to Europe Elects was the worst result for Merkel's CDU/CSU (EPP) since 1949. Merkel's main challenger, the SPD, got 20%, also its worst result since Nazi era 1945; furthermore, the SPD has said it plans to enter the opposition, collapsing the current CDU/CSU-SPD "grand coalition." 

In other words, just like in the recent Franch elections, the German establishment was just trounced:

  • Worst result for Merkel's CDU/CSU since 1949
  • Worst result for SPD Since 1945

Meanwhile, there was an unexpected surge for the newcomers: the dramatic (late) surge for the nationalist AfD party, which got a higher than expected 13.5% of the vote, has made it not only the third most popular German party but also the first far-right German party to enter the Bundestag in 60 years.

The first exit poll breakdown from ARD is as follows.

  • CDU/CSU - 32.5%
  • SPD - 20%
  • AfD - 13.5%
  • FDP - 10.5%
  • Greens - 9.5%
  • Left party - 9%

An exit poll from ZDF has a similar breakdown:

  • CDU/CSU-EPP: 33.5%
  • SPD-S&D: 21%
  • AfD-ENF: 13%
  • FDP-ALDE: 10%
  • LINKE-LEFT: 9%
  • GRÜNE-G/EFA: 9%

Even more troubling for the German establishment is that the far-right AfD was the second strongest party in former Eastern Germany:

According to the Exit Poll, the likely coalition options include CDU/CSU-SPD or CDU/CSU-FDP-GREENS. The various possibilites are shown below.

However, according to SPD's Schwesig, the leadership is united on entering opposition, meaning a grand coalition is unlikely and the CDU may have to settle for a government with the FDP and the Greens, a so-called "Jamaica Coalition." 

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Contrary to earlier reports of muted participation, Europe Elects predicted today's turnout could be as high as 80 per cent, potentially the highest turnout of the past two decades.

Furthermore, as Europe Elects adds, today could mark the highest turnout in a key German state since 1988.  In Sachsen-Anhalt, as of  4pm, turnout today is around 56 per cent - quite a bit higher than in 2013, 2009, 2005 and 2002. Turnout is not quite as high as 1988 yet, when turnout was around 62 per cent at the same time.

Turnout is particularly significant in this election, as fewer CDU and SDP voters heading out to their booths means a larger vote share for the AfD.