(CNN) – Germany’s Left Social Democratic Party (SPD) celebrates with a narrow margin in the presidential election Polls Posted after voting ends in German federal electionsBut the final outcome of the close competition remains uncertain.
A poll by CNN affiliate Forschungsgruppe Wahlen for n-tv showed the Social Democrats receiving 25.7% of the vote, with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) partying at the center-right. Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel With 24.6%, it is followed by the Green Party with 14.4% and the FDP with 11.7%. and AfD at 10.7%.
The narrow margins mean that German elections at this point are too narrow to award a winner and predicting the next government and chancellor is impossible. A large number of votes still have to be counted by mail.
Whichever party comes out on top, lengthy coalition negotiations are expected before a government is formed.
But for the SPD, getting out on par with the CDU is a big win. The Left Party received 20.5% of the vote in the country’s last general election, 2017.
“The voters decided that the SPD would win, and this is a huge success,” Social Democrat leader Olaf Schulz said in comments from his party headquarters.
Schulz said voters want him to be the next chancellor. “Many citizens have put a sign on the SPD side because they want to change the government and also because they want to name the next chancellor for this country Olaf Schulz.”
The 63-year-old politician has served as Germany’s vice chancellor and finance minister in Merkel’s grand coalition government since 2018, earning him increasing visibility as he navigates the economic response to… Germany for the epidemic.
“Pragmatism, optimism, unity, that’s what we’ll show because that’s what’s important, and I’m sure the citizens will also be happy after the election for their decision,” Schultz added.
He was interrupted by loud applause and cheers from jubilant party supporters as he spoke.
“Now we will wait for the final result, but then we will get to work. Thank you!” said Schultz.
Robin Fogman, 20, an ardent Schultz supporter, told CNN he’s pleased with the results so far.
“It’s really a great result, people believe in Olaf Schultz, people think Armin Laschet can’t really lead this country,” he said. “So we really have a mandate to lead a new government, I hope we do. And above all, we’re going to celebrate because this is a really great result.”
CDU leader: The party ‘cannot be happy’
By contrast, the mood at CDU headquarters plummeted when initial opinion polls came in. They suggest that the CDU, with its sister party, the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, may see the worst result in the alliance’s history, potentially having its share of the vote below 8% since 2017.
“The party cannot be satisfied with this result,” CDU leader Armin Laschet told his supporters, although he noted that the final outcome was not clear.
“We can expect that there can be a three-party government,” he said, noting that the party “will do everything in its power to try to build a coalition.”
Laschet added that the CDU has a “mandate against a left-wing government.”
The party launched its election campaign with a message of stability for the country after the resignation of Merkel, who had been considered a steady pair of hands for nearly 16 years. But now he is coming to terms with what he himself called a night of bitter loss.
“When we look at how we lost compared to the last election, we get bitter,” CDU general secretary Paul Zimyak told CNN in an interview at party headquarters.
“But it is also clear that after the numbers there is still no clear view of who is progressing and how exactly,” he said.
“The question is, who can put together a stable government, and form a coalition for the future, for this country? We have many problems that need to be addressed — climate protection, innovation — but we also have to ensure stability and social security, and I think a coalition of CDU/CSU, the Greens and the party FDP can do well, and that’s what we’ll talk about in the next few days.
Deborah Beraba, a 27-year-old law student and young CDU Democrat, told CNN at the CDU headquarters that the results were “disappointing” but nothing is lost so far.
He commented, “We have to consider that we’ve been dating Angela Merkel for 16 years, and I really like her. I’m really sad that she’s leaving the office.” “We called her Mutti (her mum), she knew how to talk to people and had a relationship with people and she did a lot for Germany. This made her so special compared to other politicians. I will also miss her sense of humor.”
Meanwhile, the crowd at the Green Party headquarters in Berlin cheered upon reading the first opinion polls.
“We led a campaign that we had never seen before in this country, 24 hours a day, until the last second last night,” Green Party leader Annalina Barbock said as she thanked party supporters.
The environmental concerns Economic concerns emerged as major themes of the campaign, which was fueled by the deadly floods that devastated parts of Germany this summer.
Barbock attributed his party’s success to new and young voters. “This drives the markets, a lot [gente] Whoever joined our party in recent years has led to this best result ever.”
But Birbock added that the party “wanted more” and was no better in part because of the mistakes she made during the season.
Alice Weidel, the AfD’s chief adviser, made a brave face after the expected election results showed support for the far-right party fell 2.6% since 2017.
“We are in the double figures and we have been able to confirm ourselves,” he said, according to Reuters. He added, “This claim that we will withdraw from Parliament after the failure of the legislative term completely and we are very, very happy.”
Will there be a great alliance?
The outgoing government remains in power as an interim government until it is replaced by a new government. Merkel, 67, will retire and the new chancellor will take over.
CNN commentator Dominic Thomas said that even if the final result changes the distribution of votes, the basic fact is that “after 16 years in power, nearly 76% of Germans” have not voted for Merkel’s party.
He added that neither the CDU nor the Social Democratic Party would have a real chance to form a coalition.
He commented, “If the SPD is leading the way, the only way forward is to talk to three parties potentially including the Greens and the FDP. It is a very difficult task trying to bring them all together.”
He added that opinion polls indicate a move toward the center and the center left, reflecting the concerns of younger voters.
“It is clear that the momentum is moving more towards issues of social welfare and green policy,” Thomas said.
Negotiations to form a coalition government may take weeks or even months. It took more than five months after the September 2017 elections to form a government with Merkel.
CNN’s Friedrich Blitgen, Salma Abdelaziz, Nadine Schmidt and Stephanie Halas report from Berlin, and Laura Smith Spark writes from London. CNN’s Nina Avramova, Inki Kapiller, and Aditi Sangal contributed to this report.