German Federal Election, September 2021

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Publication Date 2021
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Information Guide prepared by the ESO team covering information sources on the federal elections in Germany held on 26 September 2021. It includes the electoral campaign and the immediate aftermath of the election.

Further information:

This federal election is for the lower house of the German federal parliament (Bundestag). In person voting takes place on the day, but postal voting was launched in advance. The Bundestag is made up of at least 598 seats, and usually more. Its members are elected every four years in a mixed system of constituency and list voting.

This election was marked by the end of a 16-year chancellorship of Angela Merkel, who had previously announced she would not be running to renew her mandate. Her centre-right party CDU showed signs of internal instability and there were strains with its sister Bavarian party, CSU. Yet, the party went on to select a new candidate for chancellorship - Armin Laschet was eventually elected by 52.8% of party delegates at a convention held in January 2021.

Polls also showed an increasingly electorally competitive Alliance 90/The Greens under the leadership of their chancellorship candidate, Annalena Baerbock, who was formally nominated at a party conference in June 2021. The centre-left SPD - who had been governing alongside CDU/CSU in a grand coalition - selected vice-chancellor Olaf Scholz after the party showed its own signs of internal struggle and electoral decline amid the increasing popularity of the Greens.

The latest polls suggested an electoral recovery for the SPD and the centre-right FDP, to the expense of the Greens and particularly CDU.


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Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
Wikipedia: 2021 German federal election
IFES: Election Guide: Election for German Bundestag (26 September 2021)
The Economist: German elections 2021
European Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFR): ECFR German Election 360
French Institute of International Relations (IFRI): German Election 2021 2021 Bundestag Elections
Euro|topics: Dossiers: Germany goes to the polls
Deutsch Bank: Research: Germany's super election year 2021
Social Europe, 18/03/2021: Germany’s super-election year is a wild card
Foreign Policy: Argument, 07/07/2021: East Germany Is Still a Country of Its Own
OMFIF: Commentary, 19/07/2021: Five reasons why German election is turning greener
BBC News, 26/08/2021: German elections 2021: Simple guide to vote ending Merkel era
ING Think: Article, 05/09/2021: Germany votes: Coalition jumble
Robert Schuman Foundation: EEM Analysis, 07/09/2021: Who will succeed Angela Merkel? Germany in a state of uncertainty three weeks before the federal elections
LSE: EUROPP Blog, 08/09/2021: German federal election: Are we witnessing the revival of the SPD?

Deutsche Welle: German Election 2021
The New York Times: German Election 2021
Financial Times: German Election
The Guardian: German federal election 2021
Politico: German Election 2021
EurActiv: German Elections 2021
Euronews: German Elections 2021
The Local (Germany), 07/09/2021: German election 2021: Merkel backs Laschet as CDU lags behind in polls
Reuters, 07/09/2021: Merkel implores Germans to back conservatives as they hit record low
BBC News, 08/09/2021: German election: Merkel attacks left as polls point to defeat
France24, 09/09/2021: Germany probes claims of pre-election MP hacking by Russia

Official Website of the German Federal Returning Officer
OSCE: ODIHR: German Parliamentary elections, 26 September 2021
Goethe Institut (USA): German Federal Elections 2021

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