(© picture-alliance/Malte Ossowski)

  Germany goes to the polls

  8 Debates

With just a few days to go before the elections to the German Bundestag the outcome is still open but one thing is clear: once the voting has ended, for the first time in 16 years Angela Merkel will no longer lead the Federal Republic. The commentaries in European media oscillate between praise and criticism of the outgoing chancellor.

Germany elects a new parliament as well as Angela Merkel's successor on Sunday. The latest polls put the SPD under chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz in the lead with 25 percent, followed by the CDU/CSU with 22 percent and the Greens with 16 percent. As important as the election may be for Europe, most commentators don't believe it will change much in Germany's politics.

With just two and a half weeks to go before Germany's federal elections, the SPD has further increased its lead against the conservatives. The Social Democrats are polling at 25 percent while the CDU/CSU is trailing behind at 19 percent and the Greens at 17 percent. Europe's press is sceptical that the CDU/CSU can still turn the tide, and discusses what will happen after the election.

On Sunday evening, four weeks before Germany's parliamentary elections, the most promising chancellor candidates Armin Laschet (CDU), Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Annalena Baerbock (The Greens) shared their views on key campaign issues in a televised debate. Commentators are divided over just how bold the candidates' statements on climate policy were.

Exactly one month from now, on 26 September, parliamentary elections will be held in Germany, the EU's most populous state and strongest economy. When Angela Merkel steps down as chancellor she will leave a considerable void not just in German politics, but also on the international stage. Concerned voices can be heard from other EU states.

Two weeks ago the SPD caught up with the CDU/CSU and they were neck and neck in the polls for the first time since 2017. With less than four weeks to go before Germany's parliamentary elections, the downward trend for the CDU/CSU is continuing. While the SPD under chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz is polling at up to 25 percent, the CDU/CSU is trailing behind at around 21 percent, with the Greens at roughly 18 percent. Europe's press speculates on the consequences of an SPD election victory.

The Bundestag elections this autumn are drawing closer - and with them a new face in the German Chancellery after almost 16 years under Merkel. None of the three top candidates - Armin Laschet, Olaf Scholz and Annalena Baerbock - are inspiring much enthusiasm in Europe's press, but opinions differ as to whether real change can be expected.

Until last week, the public's attention in the race for the chancellorship in Germany was mainly focused on the Green party's top candidate Annalena Baerbock. Then the flood disaster struck and CDU candidate Armin Laschet attracted attention by laughing at a memorial service for the victims. However commentators do not see eye to eye on whether the cards will now be completely reshuffled for the federal election in two months' time.