Angel Merkel, who leads the centre-right CDU/CSU has led Germany since 2005. A win in September would be an historic victory for her and her party, but she faces a challenge from the country’s centre-left SDP, led by former ex-European parliament president Martin Schulz.
The two parties currently serve together in a grand coalition, and Merkel’s party are the favourites to win again.
Merkel's party leads
The odds of Merkel’s party winning the September election, are as of 10th July, according to William Hill, 1/14, whereas the company gives Schulz’s SDP odds of 13/2.
In another sign of upcoming success for Merkel’s party, Politico reported that in May the CDU won the regional election in Schleswig-Holstein, suggesting after twelve years in power the party is still doing well.
Furthermore, a June 2017 electoral forecasting model, from the Hertie School of Governance, puts the CDU/CSU on 35% of the vote, ahead of the SDP on 26%. Such a result would be a worse performance for Merkel’s party than last time, but a significant enough showing to keep them in power nonetheless.
Lessons from Labour
Right now it looks as if Merkel will remain chancellor after the election, but Martin Schulz should look to Britain if he wants to take the top spot.
The Conservatives and May dominated the polls before the election, and performed exceptionally well in May’s local elections, but once the general election campaign got underway and voters saw Corbyn and learned about Labour’s manifesto and their radical policies, enthusiasm built for change in the form of Corbyn.
If Martin Schulz learns lessons from Corbyn’s campaign and takes on Merkel directly then he could end up as Germany’s next chancellor.
If he does not then he would end up as a left-of-centre “almost made it” like Jeremy Corbyn in June, and Bernie Sanders before him.
The signs are that Schulz won't make it, but campaigns can change everything.