The “Grand Coalition” that has been governing Germany for years may – May – be on its way out. Why the Bavarian election matters for Angela Merkel.
Actually the coalition and their partners have been sinking in the polls for sometime, but they started out with such a majority, that it has taken a while to notice.
The German state of Bavaria is having itself an election today. (It is a federal system after all.) The Christian Social Union (CSU) has been the majority party in Bavaria since the 1950s. At least. The CSU and Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have been governing Germany for years, lately in coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SDP). That looks like it might be changing.
The party [CSU] has been steadily sinking in the polls since the election campaign began. A Friday poll by public broadcaster ZDF put them at 34 percent, 2 points below September, 5 points below August, and a whole world away from the 48 percent they reached in the 2013 state election.
The 2 groups to gain are the Greens on the Left and Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) on the Right.
It is hard to say what will happen to the Chancellor, because she is not a member of CSU, and this is a state election, not impacting the seating in the Bundestag, but it could drive CSU out of coalition, and that might lead to a no-confidence vote. But no one thinks that is likely.
It could make things easier for Merkel in the short term, but the fact that some stories are saying she is being referred to as a “lame duck” doesn’t look good.