BERLIN (Reuters) – The abrupt resignation of the leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) after disastrous European and regional elections has thrown the future of the ‘grand coalition’ with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives into doubt.
The government looks set to limp on until elections in three former Communist eastern states in September and October. But if the SPD and Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) do badly, the risk of a government collapse would increase sharply.
SPD - Triumvirate - Months - Year - Leader
The SPD, led by an interim triumvirate for the next few months, will later this year pick a new leader and review its role in the coalition. To reinvent itself in opposition and win back defectors from the resurgent Greens, the SPD may, under a new leader, ditch its marriage with Merkel.
Here are the main scenarios for Germany if the coalition between the conservative bloc and SPD collapses:
Option - Analysts - Election - Risks - Conservatives
The option most analysts are talking about, a snap election before the next scheduled one in 2021, poses enormous risks for the conservatives and SPD. Merkel has said she will not stand for a fifth term as chancellor.
The conservative bloc of the CDU and its Bavarian CSU sister party is polling at 26%-29%, below their 2017 election result. Merkel’s heir apparent Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has failed to boost the CDU’s ratings since taking over as its leader in December.
SPD - Decimation - % - % - Polls
The SPD faces decimation, at 12%-17% in polls, paying the price for sharing power as Merkel’s junior partners for six years and 10 of the last 14. A reluctant SPD was effectively forced by the president to re-enter government with Merkel after the 2017 election, in which the party slumped to its lowest level since democracy returned after World War Two.
The Greens, which a weekend poll put as the strongest party on 27%, could be the big winners. They overtook the SPD in...
Wake Up To Breaking News!
Been there, done that, twice...