Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Germany’s Clear Election Result

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 27th September, 2009

Angela Merkel 2I was at the German Embassy in London this evening for an election night (or maybe one should more accurately say ‘election afternoon’) party; with typical Teutonic efficiency, the basic results were out in a matter of minutes after polls closed at 5pm London time. There had earlier been a sweepstake among guests about what the result would be; in my own prediction, I got the Conservative  Christian Democrat (CDU) and Liberal (FDP) tallies pretty close, but like most people I under-estimated the scale of the Socialist Social Democrats’ (SPD) collapse. The ‘grand coalition’ of CDU-SPD that has run Europe’s largest ecoomy for the past four years will cease and in its place a much more traditional Conservative-Liberal (CDU/CSU-FDP) formation will take over.

Guido WesterwelleFrau Merkel had every reason to be beaming on the instantaneous TV election analysis programme German leaders are obliged to take part in. But this was also very much Guido Westerwelle and the Liberals’ day. Only a few years ago, the FDP seemed to be on its last legs and it was not represented in the European Parliament for a while, as it failed to scale the five-per cent German election threshold. But its support has surged over the past 12 months and the party registered nearly 15 per cent today. Even though the FDP is well to the right of the British Liberal Democrats on economic matters (British newspaper journalists almost invariably refer to it as the ‘pro-business’ party), this is a good result for the European and global Liberal families, the ELDR and the Liberal International (LI), as well as yet another headache for Gordon Brown and the Socialist (‘Sad’) group to which the Labour Party belongs in Europe.

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