Top 7 outcomes for tomorrow’s German election – will Merkel stay?

Here are the seven most likely outcomes for Germany’s Federal election.

The state of play

On Sunday, Germans will be voting for a new parliament – the Bundestag – using the mixed member proportional representation voting system. Half of the seats in the chamber are made up of constituency FPTP MPs while the other half are top-up MPs to address the issue of disproportionality in FPTP. In total, six parties are expected to enter parliament:

Currently, only the first four parties have representation in the chamber. The CDU/CSU and SPD currently govern in a grand coalition.

7th – SDP-FDP-Green coalition

The seventh favourite government outcome for Sunday’s election is the so-called traffic light coalition. If the numbers add up, Martin Schulz could end up becoming the first SDP German chancellor since 2005. The SDP have worked with both parties before on the federal level, but would all three of them work together? Polls suggest that such an outcome is unlikely as the three parties combined look set to fall below winning 50% of the seats in the Bundestag. Ladbrokes offer odds of 50/1 for this being the eventual outcome.

6th – CDU/CSU majority

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union alliance came just seats away from this outcome in 2013, however, an overall majority looks even more unlikely than four years ago. While the most popular party by far, Merkel’s alliance will probably end up with a lower vote share than in 2013 if polls are to be believed. On top of this, in order to enter parliament on the top-up list, parties must win 5% of the overall vote. In 2013, just four parties manged to do this, but this time around six parties look set to enter parliament making an overall majority far more difficult. Ladbrokes offer odds of 25/1 for such an outcome.

5th – SPD/Linke/Green

Such an arrangement has existed on a state level, but never on the federal stage. The numbers added up for this option in 2013, but the SPD ended up working with the CDU. This coalition is a possibility for 2017, however, polls suggest that the three parties are unlikely to win enough seats to win a majority in the Bundestag. Ladbrokes offer odds of 20/1 for this outcome.

4th – CDU/CSU-Green

Polls indicate that such a combination could be close to winning a majority of seats in the Bundestag making this option a real possibility. The two parties have worked together on a state level so there is precedent, however, if given the chance the CDU/CSU would be much more likely to govern with the FDP, who have been their natural allies since 1949. Ladbrokes offer odds of 16/1 for this outcome making it the fourth most likely result of the election.


A coalition of this nature would mark a return to the arrangement which has ruled Germany for the better party of the last seventy years. The problem is: polls suggest that the two parties alone are unlikely to reach a majority, meaning that such a coalition could need a third partner, or that they could govern together with a confidence and supply deal from another party.

According to the FT, the FDP have gone into the election proposing large tax cuts and eurozone reform. Ladbrokes offer odds of 7/2 for a CDU/CSU-FDP alliance.

2nd – CDU/CSU-FDP-Green

As already mentioned, it looks likely that the CDU/CSU and the FDP will be unlikely to win enough seats to get a majority in the Bundestag. This has led to speculation that a Jamaica coalition could be on the table – so-called due to the black, yellow and green colours that represent the three parties. There is no precedent for this on the federal level, but the three parties currently work together in Schleswig-Holstein, and have done since earlier this year.

Ladbrokes offer odds of 3/1 for this being the resultant coalition.


The betting markets’ current favourite outcome is a repeat of the grand coalition. Such a possibility is the only outcome that is guaranteed to be a mathematical possible as Merkel’s alliance and Schulz’s SPD will definitely end up as the country’s two largest parties. Germany has a history of grand coalitions, with Merkel having led two in her time as chancellor. A three-party coalition could be unstable so a repeat of the status-quo could be the best option for Germany.

Ladbrokes offer odds of 4/5 for this being the eventual outcome.

Merkel’s future?

As for Angela Merkel’s future, with the CDU/CSU leading by double digits in the polls and the fact that the odds for them winning the most seats are 1/100, Angela Merkel looks set to stay chancellor. On top of that, Ladbrokes offer odds of 1/16 for Angela Merkel not to be replaced as chancellor in 2017, suggesting that the chances of her chancellery coming to a quick end are slim.

All odds can be accessed here on Ladbrokes and are accurate as of 18th September. All polls can be accessed here on Pollytix.