German election: Laschet’s CDU/CSU and Scholz’s SPD parties tied in Bundestag vote – exit polls

Exit polls from the German election reveal a neck-and-neck race, with the conservative CDU party of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel and its main Social Democrat rivals, the SPD, tied. All eyes are now on coalition talks.

An exit poll from German broadcaster ARD shows the center-right CDU/CSU union, led by Merkel’s successor, Christian Democrat Armin Laschet, tied on 25% with the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), led by Olaf Scholz.

However, an alternative exit poll by TV channel ZDF has placed the SPD slightly in the lead with 26%.

The Greens were on track to get 15% of the vote, according to ARD, while the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) was set for 11% – both looking close to the pre-vote predictions. Meanwhile, a potential ‘kingmaker’ in the race, the classic liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), was also looking on course to get 11%.

The Left Party (Die Linke) was shown to be underperforming compared to earlier polling results, appearing likely to secure 5% of the vote.

Germans went to the polls on Sunday to decide on the makeup of the Bundestag, the lower house of the country’s parliament.

The results will determine who replaces the CDU’s Angela Merkel as chancellor. Germany’s second-longest-serving leader in the modern era, she has governed the country since 2005. She presided over the eurozone crisis, the influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa, and the rise of extremism and terrorism in Europe.

Merkel’s successor and their new government will be tasked with steering the country’s economy towards recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic and the devastating floods in Germany this summer.

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People walk and drive past election posters at a street in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on September 23, 2021.
Germans vote in historic election, with Angela Merkel set to step down after 16 years in power

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