Monday, July 17, 2017

2017 and the German Election

We are nine weeks away from the German national election (24 September).  To be honest, it's almost a non-existent affair.  If you were to compare against the French and American election....there is very little hype, zero TV-ads, and only marginal speeches made up to this point.

The six political parties with odds of making it into the Bundestag?  Polling says that Merkel and her CDU/CSU effort is near 40-percent, and they might still be able to expand another point or two before the election.  The SPD with Schulz?  Last night, I noted that they were listed at 23-percent. The FDP, Greens, Linke Party and AfD are all far down on the scale.  It does appear that AfD will have around 6-to-7 percent in the voting....meaning they will sit in the Bundestag.  If you were to look at the scales....the right-of-center to far-right....will win around  57-percent of the vote.

The hot topics of this election?  There are very few.  The SPD has chatted about more funding for schools, infrastructure.  The CDU has talked about more cops.  Pension reform gets brought up on occasion.  The topic that everyone (except the AfD) does NOT talk about is refugees and immigration.  If you were looking for some big topic for the election....there just isn't one.

The last election (2013) was a 71-percent turn-out.....meaning roughly 44-million showed up to vote.  That election had some dynamics to it and more interest.  I see the 2017 election being less of an affair....meaning probably between 60 and 65 percent of the public showing up....maybe 41-million coming out to vote.

As for the Schulz-effect for the SPD?  This was the big calculation that bringing him into the race in late-December 2016....would bring new dynamics and a better chance of winning.  For four weeks....they were absolutely correct and the numbers jumped. At one point, they held a two-to-four point lead over the CDU.  About two months after the announcement, you noticed the numbers deflating.  Every two weeks....the SPD and Schulz lost another point or two.  Right now, there is a 17-point difference on polls between the two parties.  As much as the news media tries to hype up Schulz....his speeches are peppy and promising but it's just not affecting public sentiment.

The Greens and Linke Party?  You would think if the SPD were failing....that these two parties would be gaining the lost public support of the SPD.  Both have stumbled around in the past 18 months with negative comments about the police and the handling of various public threat episodes, and those comments have been taken as a negative by the general German public.  For the Greens of the national base....there is some type of disconnect between them and their charged-up Green membership in the Baden-Wurttemberg region.  In some ways, there is Green Party number one, and Green Party number two.  For the Linke Party, their figure-head leader is reading off a script that is slightly different from the script that the party hands out.

I think as dawn arrives on the 25th of September....most everyone will just note that it's over and they've got four years of Chancellor Merkel for one more time.  The CDU then has to find it's replacement figure....something that they've been unable to do for the past five years.  The SPD will evaluate their position and likely retire Schulz from the party leadership within three years, and go in a different direction for 2021.  

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