What do the bookies say about the German election – can Merkel win?

Germany goes to the polls in less than a month. What will be the result?

Germany’s mixed member proportional representation electoral system makes the contest a fascinating one. This time, it is expected that all six main parties will end up in the Bundestag up from the four that were elected in 2013.

The country is currently run by a coalition of Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU and the left-of-centre SPD. The latter’s chancellor-candidate Martin Schulz hopes to topple Merkel come September. The two parties will likely be joined by the liberal FDP, the Greens, the leftist Linke, and the far-right Alternative for Germany.

The resultant coalition

Due to Germany’s PR voting system, a coalition is the most likely option by far, but colours will it be?

  • The odds-on favourite outcome, according to Ladbrokes, is a CDU/CSU – FDP government. The betting firm offers short odds of 4/5.
  • The second favourite outcome is a CDU/CSU-FDP-Green government, an arrangement which has been dubbed a Jamaica coalition, due to the colours of the three parties (black, yellow, green). Ladbrokes offers odds of 4/1 for this outcome.
  • A rerun of the grand coalition between the CDU/CSU and the SPD comes in with odds of 6/1, followed by a CDU/CSU-Green alliance with odds of 8/1.
  • A leftist coalition of the SPD, Linke and the Greens gets odds of 10/1, which is followed by the very unlikely possibility of a CDU/CSU majority government with odds of 16/1.
  • A government made up of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP is given odds of 50/1, as is a government made up of just the SPD and the Greens.
  • Finally, a right-wing CDU/CSU-AfD alliance is given odds of 100/1.

Largest party

It would take a miracle for Merkel’s CDU/CSU not to become the largest party after the election – that’s if the polls and the betting markets are to be believed.

The CDU/CSU are given incredibly short odds of 1/16 to win the largest number of seats in the Bundestag whereas Schulz’s SPD are given odds of just 10/1.

The Chancellor

According to Ladbrokes, it looks unlikely that Merkel will be replaced as German chancellor in 2017. The firm offers odds of 6/1 for that to happen, and offers short odds of 1/12 for her to stay in her job.

What do the polls say?

Pollytix’s seat calculator indicates that recent polling suggests that a CDU/CSU-FDP coalition is unlikely to get an overall majority, and that the two parties – in alliance with the Greens – are likely to surpass the magic number.

A left-of-centre coalition looks unlikely to succeed in getting a majority.

The Berlin state-government is currently made up of a centre-left coalition of the SPD, the Left and the Greens.

3. Germany’s Bundestag is the equivalent of Westminster’s House of Commons

The federal elections taking place next month are for the Bundestag. They will decide who governs the country for the next four years, including who takes over as chancellor. There are 598+ seats in the Bundestag, which are allocated via the Mixed Member Proportional Representation System (MMP). This is very similar to elections for the Scottish parliament, London Assembly and the Welsh Assembly. Half of the seats are elected via a FPTP single-member method while the other half are allocated via a top-up list with a threshold of 5%. This is where the FDP fell down last time as they did not win any FPTP seats, but also failed to meet the 5% threshold to get top-up seats.

Based off recent polling, all six main parties are expected to enter the Bundestag, something that could make coalition negotiations very interesting.

4. Germany’s upper house is fascinating

Germany’s upper house – it’s equivalent of the House of Lords or a Senate – is called Angela Merkel looks set to win an historic fourth term as chancellor.

All Ladbrokes odds can be found here and are accurate as of 24th August.

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