Germany: New election blow for Angela Merkel
7 May 2012
"A party wavering in the North", began Die Welt in its summary of the power struggle played out through the ballot box in the regional elections in Schleswig-Holstein, an area which borders Denmark and is home to some 2.8 million people. The Christian Democrats (CDU) are effectively neck and neck with the Social Democrats (SPD), with 30.9% of the vote against 30.3% respectively. In 2009, the CDU obtained 31.5% of the vote with the SPD winning 25.4%. The Liberals (FDP) obtained 8.2% – compared to 14.9% in 2009 – and the Pirate Party scored its third success in recent months with a triumphal entry into the local parliament, with 8.2% of the vote. Die Welt, a daily close to Angela Merkel, looked at the outcome in terms of the effect on the ruling coalition in Berlin, noting that the idea of an alliance between the SPD and Greens, such as occurred under the Social Democratic Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, is becoming increasingly unlikely, because "many people are hoping for a grand coalition between the SPD-CDU".