The rise of the Greens and the Liberals makes them essential to reach a coalition deal.
The Social Democrats (25.7%) won the German parliamentary election but their small advantage with the Christian Democrat (24.1%) leaves most of the options for a future government in the hands of the Green Party (14.8%) and the Liberals (11.5%).
Coalition talks to form a majority in the Bundestag (Federal Parliament of Germany) are expected to be complex and could last for a couple of months.
SPD’s candidate Olaf Scholz said after winning that the party of Angela Merkel (who no longer was a candidate) had to learn the lesson that they should accept their role in the opposition. Scholz said the prioties for Germany sould be “to create more respect in our society, to modernize our industry in our country and to stop and slow down man made climate change”, as well as to strengthen the European Union.
Meanwhile, despite having the worst results in decades, conservative CDU’s candidate Armin Laschet did not renounce the idea of forming a government. “We'll have to find commonalities probably between three political parties”, he said.
What is clear is that the two big parties will not repeat the “grand coalition” of the last years. This gives a historic chance for Green and Centre-Liberals (FDP) to enter a government with. But both parties would also have to agree with each other, in basic areas in which they disagree, such as the economic and environmental policies.
The Left party lost support and hardly could enter the Parliament, whereas the far-right populists AfD had 10.3% of the vote but no chances to enter government talks.
A more plural parliament can also lead to more polarisation and difficulties to reachg agreements.
German journalist Jonathan Steinert told Evangelical Focus there is a risk that Christians also fall into a general tendency of division. “One challenge will be to strengthen the unity of believers and to deal with a plurality of opinions without judging each other”, he said. “To communicate in a positive way what evangelicals stand for is a continuing challenge”.
Who did Christians vote for? Despite climate politics, migration and ethical issues such as a future law on assisted suicide being talking points for believers in Germany, “the positions and interests differ among Christians”, the journalist concludes. “There are no typical ‘Christian topics’”.