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Germany Elections

Angela Merkel won a landslide personal victory in Germany's general election on Sunday.

  • ARD TV put out this first projection, a mixture of exit polls and first preliminary results from some polling stations: 42 percent cdu, 26 percent spd,4.7 pct fdp,8.3 pct Left, 8.1 pct Greens, 4.9 pct AfD

  • Social Democrat (SPD) supporters are now split over how their party should proceed, with some saying they should push for a coalition between with the left-leaning Greens and far-left Linke party. "Theoretically we have a left majority now and that sends a clear signal. I think the SPD should take this opportunity," said Markus Fuss, a 45-year-old secretary at a trade union. Angela Hesse, 58, said she had hoped the Social Democrats would do better and said her party should enter a 'grand coalition' with Angela Merkel's conservatives: "I'd prefer a grand coalition as you have to think about the country as a whole and I think those (the CDU and SPD) are the partners who can do best together."
  • Social Democratic Party (SPD) react to exit polls in the German general election (Bundestagswahl) at the party headquarters in Berlin September 22, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

  • Reuters correspondent Alexandra Hudson at AfD headquarters reports: "Lucke greeted with big applause here… We have achieved a very strong result. We can say that much already. We have given the other parties reason to be frightened…. We have made democracy in Germany richer, we have strengthened it .. that within a few months a new party can be come from the middle of society.. that is something to be hugely proud of. “4.9 percent is about 2.million votes. That is a huge success for a party that has only been around for a couple of months”

    Reuters correspondent Sarah Marsh at CDU headquarters reports: "Its as if you wished yourself a wooden train set for Christmas and end up getting an electric one," said one supporter named Karl, a 64 year old pharmacist who has been a CDU member for 20 years, holding a glass of red wine.  "I hadn't expected such an incredible result but think now the CDU should give it a stab at governing alone."
    by erik.kirschbaum edited by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) 9/22/2013 4:33:27 PM
  • Some Social Democrat (SPD) supporters say they are pleased with their party's gains, with 45-year-old bank employee Ralf Thies saying: "We got around one million votes more than in the last election and that's good. But it won't help us." He said the SPD's chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrueck, who has come in for a lot of criticism for gaffes in his campaign, had not managed to gain enough momentum towards the end of the campaign and contrasted him to predecessor Gerhard Schroeder, who he described as an "election campaign machine".
  • Merkel calls victory a "super result" and thanks her party, the voters and her husband, who makes a rare appearance on the sidelines of the CDU's stage. But she says it's too early to discuss coalition options until the final results are in.

    Sarah Marsh reports from CDU headquarters: Merkel's husband is smiling from the corner of the room where he looks on at his wife on stage, and appears surprised and shy when she thanks him for his support and the TV cameras turn to him.
    by erik.kirschbaum edited by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) 9/22/2013 4:53:03 PM
  • Merkel's conservatives on track for absolute majority in Parliament after German election: voting projection (Reuters wire)
  • Here is what Merkel told her frenzied supporters: "Dear friends, your cheers show that we've all got something to celebrate about. That's a super result. First of all, I'd like to thank the voters who put such overwhelming faith in our conservative parties. And I'd like to promise the voters that we will act responsibly and with great care. Thank you very much."
  • Reuters' Stephen Brown and Noah Barkin writeAngela Merkel was on track to win a third term as chancellor in a German election on Sunday after her conservatives scored their best result in decades, but it was unclear whether she could avoid being forced into a coalition with her leftist rivals. 
    by erik.kirschbaum edited by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) 9/22/2013 5:17:51 PM
  • According to current projections, Merkel's conservatives have an absolute majority of seats in Bundestag for first time since 1957. However, anti-euro party AfD is just shy of the 5 percent threshold needed to enter parliament and could decide the outcome of the vote.
    by Annika.Breidthardt edited by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) 9/22/2013 5:25:50 PM
  • Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble calls it a "fantastic result" but says he hopes the FDP gets into parliament so that the centre-right will have a stabile majority. "It's a fantastic result, a great confirmation for Angela Merkel. Actually I hope the FDP gets in. Then we'll have stability." Schaeuble said it was "a little bit too early" to start talking about what coalition or what party or parties would be invited to talks for the next government  - quite possibly because Merkel might have enough seats for an absolute majority without a coalition partner. He also says Europe doesn't need to worry about Germany. "We'll continue to carry on responsibly with our role."
  • Sophie Duvernoy listened to AfD leader Bernd Lucke give an interview to ARD TV:Obviously voters who gave the FDP the strong result of 15 percent in 2009 have moved away from the party, because the FDP has deeply disappointed many of its voters. They turned either to the CDU or the AfD, so it’s not as if we have changed the fundamental architecture of the German party system. But we have formulated an alternative for people who were disappointed not only by the FDP but by all the other parties as well. The voter breakdown has already shown that we have attracted people from all directions, and we hope that it will be enough to get in the Bundestag. If we can’t make it, we will focus on the upcoming European elections, which will be important elections for us because they take up the theme of the euro zone crisis... If we don’t make it today, we will go into that conflict with a strong momentum.

    by erik.kirschbaum edited by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) 9/22/2013 5:58:07 PM
  • Social Democrat (SPD) headquarters have emptied out a lot. Mood is pretty downbeat. And there's a lot of concern about the possibility of another 'grand coalition' now that SPD chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrueck has again ruled out forming a coalition with the left-leaning Greens and far-left Linke parties. SPD supporter Corinna Schwetasch, 32, said she didn't want her party to enter another coalition with Angela Merkel's conservatives like in 2005-2009 because she thought her party would have little influence and could end up damaging itself. "The last grand coalition was bad for us because we didn't manage to show what the SPD stood for. The chancellor was able to exploit that and she's done it again with the Free Democrats (FDP) - it's not easy when you're the junior coalition partner and then you suffer big losses - that happened to us and I don't want to have that experience again," she said. Nikolaus Foss, 52, who works for a state ministry, echoed that sentiment: "In the last grand coalition the SPD was responsible for many of the successes but it was not rewarded."
  • German TV viewers were just treated to an hour of Merkel and the leaders of the other parties in parliament. Nothing sensational came out of it other than Merkel saying she would have to wait to see the final results before making any decisions on a coalition partner. Both the SPD and Greens leaders said they were not interested in a coalition with Merkel.  Merkel says, perhaps half jokingly, that perhaps there won't be a partner available.
  • The latest ARD TV projection shows that the CDU/CSU now falling a few seats short of an absolute majority, with 297 seats compared to 301 seats for the three left parties, the SPD, Greens and Left. But the SPD and Greens have said they won't do a coalition with the Left.
  • It is always difficult to explain to audiences outside Germany why the SPD, Greens and Left (the so-called 'red-red-green' government) is a taboo at the federal level in Germany. There have been such SPD-Left coalitions at the state level (Berlin, Mecklenburg vorpommern and brandenburg) in eastern Germany, where the Left is hugely popular and gets around 30 percent of the vote. Then in recent years there was a government even in west Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia, that relied on Left party votes to rule a minority government. But it's still seen as a taboo for the federal government...But for how much longer? That's the question being asked tonight.
  • Merkel returns to party headquarters and is dancing on the stage with leaders of the CDU. they're playing the rock song "Tage wie dieser", a song from the rock group "Tote hosen"
  • Alexandra Hudson at the AfD headquarters reports: "It is emptied out a lot here – no sign of the AfD leaders… but people still hanging on, watching the poll estimates with trepidation – watching the Berliner Runde. Hope slipping away…"our result has been a success for democracy. People in Germany were unhappy and we said, ‘we’ve got to change something’. We put a party together which heard those people and we got almost 3 million votes. Of course it will be bitterly disappointing if we don’t get in, but we have built an excellent base for the future – from which to stand in the European elections next year.

    “We are not a one-issue party and things in the euro zone aren’t going to improve any time soon.  Greece is on the verge of a third bail out , France is in trouble, Spain and Italy will also clamour for debt write-downs.
    "I’m the son of an Iraqi asylum seeker and a German mother. If  there was any far-right element to this party I would have nothing to do with it.” Sari Saleh, AfD candidate standing in Berlin Neukoelln.

    by erik.kirschbaum edited by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) 9/22/2013 7:31:13 PM
  • Merkel romps to victory in German election

    Chancellor Angela Merkel won a landslide personal victory in a German election on Sunday, putting her within reach of the first absolute majority in parliament in half a century, a ringing endorsement of her steady leadership in the euro crisis  Partial results put her conservative bloc - the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) -- on 42.5 percent, which if confirmed would be their strongest score since 1990, the year of German unification. 

    by erik.kirschbaum edited by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) 9/22/2013 11:21:23 PM
  • Merkel draws laughs from party supporters celebrating at CDU headquarters for a short speech. "Today we can celebrate and tomorrow we'll get back to work." But the revelers were in no mood to return to work and shouted 'no'. So Merkel said: "Okay, get back to work the day after tomorrow. The people up here on the stage will be back at work tomorrow morning and the rest of you can get back to work the day after tomorrow."
    by erik.kirschbaum edited by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) 9/22/2013 11:23:53 PM
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces the daunting prospect of persuading her center-left rivals to keep her in power after her conservatives notched up their best election result in more than two decades but fell short of an absolute majority.

    READ: Merkel must reach out to leftist rivals after poll triumph
    by Reuters: Mark Kolmar edited by Margarita Noriega (Reuters) 9/23/2013 10:28:36 AM
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