1. Research
  2. Products & Topics
  3. Special
  4. Germany: Super election year 2021

Germany's super election year 2021

After 16 years of dominating German and to a large extent European politics, Chancellor Merkel does not run again in this year's federal election. The election dynamics and possible coalitions are more uncertain than ever amid the corona pandemic. Still, after one and a half decades of protecting the status quo against various crisis, the new government needs to define Germany's domestic policy course in a range of fields such as environment, social security, industrial policy/competiveness and digitalisation, to name just a few, and even more importantly Germany's role in the EU and globally.

11 Documents
April 15, 2021
Region:
On Monday, the Green party will present their first chancellor candidate in the 41-year party history. The leadership tandem of Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck is set to decide amongst themselves whom to field as candidate for the September elections, successfully avoiding any semblance of a power struggle. In our view, the odds appear slightly tilted towards Annalena Baerbock. The decision will formally be confirmed at the party convention in June. [more]
1
April 13, 2021
Region:
The Conservatives’ beauty contest for Merkel’s potential succession is finally coming to a climax. On Sunday, CSU leader Söder threw his hat into the ring to compete with CDU leader Laschet in the race for the conservatives’ chancellor candidacy. With the CDU’s (the bigger sister party) executive body fully united behind Laschet on Monday, the scale has tilted in favour of Laschet. Söder is shying away of calling for all CDU/CSU members’ to cast their vote for the candidacy. This would be a highly confrontational move which would also unduly delay the election campaign entry of the candidate. We expect the final announcement within the course of this week, i.e. before the Greens present their candidate on April 19th. [more]
2
March 31, 2021
Region:
Merkel’s Conservatives currently face major problems. Approval rates are in free fall as trust in the government’s crisis management has eroded. The CDU/CSU is polling at pre-crisis levels of below 30% fuelling speculation that not only Merkel but the Conservatives in total might not be part of the next government. The announcement of their chancellor candidate is unlikely to turn the tide for the Conservatives. A bold election manifesto on how to bring Germany forward after the deficiencies revealed by the crisis combined with convincing core personal are needed. Coalition options are back in focus with the Greens being the kingmakers in all scenarios. The political talk of the day is a Green-led traffic light coalition also at the federal level. Still, a conservative-green government remains our baseline scenario, but it is not a foregone conclusion anymore. [more]
3
March 15, 2021
Region:
In yesterday’s regional elections in Baden-Wuerttemberg (BW) and Rhineland-Palatinate (RP), the CDU achieved disappointing results and thus faces a dismal start into this election year. The CDU was up against two extremely popular prime ministers who appeal to voters across the political camps. However, nondescript CDU candidates, allegations around mask procurement deals and growing discontent about pandemic management are behind the heavy defeats. The new CDU party leader Armin Laschet was not able to change the party’s fortunes. Nevertheless, Laschet’s chances for Merkel’s succession remain intact, in our view. While another six months until federal elections is a long time in politics, the state elections serve as a reminder that a conservative-green coalition which is the consensus so far, is not a foregone conclusion. With Merkel’s bonus for the CDU/CSU fading, vaccine problems continuing and the surprising revival of the Liberals, other coalition options for the Greens might open up. [more]
4
March 10, 2021
Region:
On March 14, regional elections in Baden-Württemberg (BW) and Rhineland-Palatinate (RP) will provide the first electoral test for the parties in the run-up to the federal elections. Polls see the ruling Greens in BW, respectively the SPD in RP in the lead, but uncertainty about the polls is higher this time given the fallout from the pandemic. Additional headwinds for the CDU result from a current political outrage over questionable procurement deals of two CDU/CSU Bundestag MPs. The new CDU party leader Laschet is not up for election but the performance of the CDU will of course be (partly) attributed to him. However, as long as the CDU is not experiencing a severe setback compared to its 2016 results, Laschet’s chances of being nominated as the CDU/CSU chancellor candidate remains intact in our view. [more]
5
March 9, 2021
Region:
At the onset of this decisive election year, Germany finds itself confronted with an increasingly multipolar world, a weakened liberal, rule-based world order and rapid technological change. By applying the concept of a SWOT analysis, we aim at kicking off a debate about possible trajectories for the German economy in the post-Merkel era. As key threats to Germany’s "business model" (export-driven with a strong innovative industrial base), we identify (i) a continued erosion of the liberal rule-based trading and investment order and (ii) the falling behind in the global tech race with respect to Green-tech, AI and IoT. By plotting these two threats on separate axes, we then develop four scenarios and identify key drivers that will define Germany‘s position on these axes. For the new government complacency or reactive policies are no options – "High-Tech Made in Germany" might turn out to be an upside scenario. Strong reform effort of both the government and corporate sector is needed in order to secure Germany’s place in the "best-of-all-worlds" scenario. This requires a proper allocation of R&D investments, reaping the benefits of industrial data and an accelerated diffusion of cross-sectoral technologies like AI. [more]
6
February 17, 2021
Region:
German GDP: Down (Q1) but not out (in 2021). The longer “hard” lockdown, weather-related losses in construction and impairments in car output due to chip supply problems have prompted us to cut our Q1 GDP forecast to -2% qoq. We continue to expect a strong rebound in the summer half propelled by healthy global demand, supportive fiscal and monetary policy and German households’ pent-up demand. Inflation: Now expecting 2% for 2021! The Jan print of 1% yoy surprised massively to the upside, in part due to one-offs. But the strong rise in core goods prices begs the question whether the Jan readings could herald stronger underlying inflation dynamics. There are still strong arguments for a continuation of structurally low inflation dynamics. However, we see risk that price dynamics could strengthen more strongly through impaired supply conditions. Overall, we now project the inflation rate to average 2.0% in 2021. Towards the end of 2021 the headline rate could spike to as much as 3% before easing to 1 ½% in Q1 2022. [more]
7
January 18, 2021
Region:
Winning 53% of delegates’ votes, Armin Laschet - the PM of NRW and Merkel loyalist - secured a slim majority in the run-off for the CDU party leadership on Saturday. This does not come as a surprise, as Laschet was widely seen as the candidate with a small lead in a tight race. In the end, having most governing experience and a track record of winning elections probably tipped the scale in favour of Laschet (e.g. the former SPD stronghold NWR in 2017). Being well-connected within the CDU also paid off for him. However, with a mere difference of 55 votes this is no landslide victory, though still a clearer win for the Merkel camp than AKK’s 17-vote win over Merz in 2018. The slim majority is a reflection of the existing divisions within the party, leaving Laschet with the task of bridging those as soon as possible in this decisive super-election year. Norbert Röttgen (coming third in the election) quickly signalled support for Armin Laschet and was elected to the CDU’s steering committee. [more]
8
September 23, 2020
Region:
The two August mass demonstrations against the corona measures in Berlin attracted wide media attention and rattled the public. Many felt confirmed in their feeling that the corona crisis is driving society further apart. Current surveys, however, show that 80% of Germans firmly support the government and trust in government is at a record high. Rather, the protests go beyond the corona crisis, which might be a door opener for general system criticism. The causes for criticism and uncertainty are more likely ongoing long-term trends such as the loss of western supremacy, demographic change, climate change or digitalisation. [more]
9
July 9, 2020
Region:
With Germany’s rather successful COVID-19 strategy and the recovery and stimulus packages broadly agreed, the question of Merkel’s successor and the next German federal elections in autumn 2021 are gradually getting closer political attention again. Parties are currently not only preparing for the election, but are also arguing about the electoral law: the present law allowed the Bundestag to grow from 598 mandates to the current record size of 709 mandates, with the 2021 election likely to result in an even bigger number of seats. The Bundestag just failed to pass a reform before the summer break and thus in time for the 2021 elections. However, political and public pressure to find a solution is high and will keep the issue on the political agenda. [more]
10
14.8.0