Elections in Germany: has the CDU/CSU already lost?

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.

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Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

Laschet is no Schröder

Gazeta Wyborcza doesn't believe the CDU will be able to make a last-minute comeback:

“Can negative trends still be reversed just three weeks before an election? Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of the SPD almost managed to do this 16 years ago. At the beginning of the 2005 election campaign victory for the Christian Democrats and their chancellor candidate, Angela Merkel seemed inevitable. The party was polling at over 40 per cent, 10 points ahead of the SPD. In the end, with maximum effort, Schröder was able to cut the CDU's lead down to one point. But Schröder was the type of charismatic election campaigner who was able to get his way. The same cannot be said of Merkel or Laschet.”

Ria Nowosti (RU) /

Merkel messed up search for candidate

Ria Novosti blames the outgoing chancellor responsible for the CDU debacle:

“It was she who not only failed to select a worthy successor, but also did everything to ensure that the CDU/CSU did not end up with a strong chancellor candidate. First, she backed Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and made her the party leader with the prospect of becoming chancellor. But as defence minister, AKK soon disappointed everyone, and they started looking for a replacement. ... Then, to prevent the party from coming under the control of the 'foreigner' Merz, Merkel backed Laschet. But he has proved to be just as uncharismatic as AKK and sunk his own party. But to be frank, Merkel herself sank the CDU, because it was she who tried to box through her protégés at any cost.”

Les Echos (FR) /

Scholz-o-mat a good fit for Germany

Les Echos gives a tongue-in-cheek description of Olaf Scholz, who visited Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Monday:

“The uncharismatic Scholz, 63, is leading the race. The monotonous tone of his speeches has earned him the nickname 'Scholz-o-mat', according to 'L'Express'. We are not here to have a good time, Laschet should have known that [when he laughed at the German president's commemorative speech in the flood zone]. ... After joining Angela Merkel's coalition government as finance minister and vice-chancellor in 2018, Scholz quickly quashed any hopes of laxity that his SPD label might have inspired: 'A German finance minister will always be a German finance minister'. He couldn't have put it better.”

Ukrajinska Prawda (UA) /

Ukraine should be prepared for surprises

In Ukrayinska Pravda, political scientist Viktor Savinov analyses how the election result could affect German foreign policy vis-à-vis Russia and Ukraine:

“For Ukraine, the best scenario would be if a representative of the Greens were to be appointed head of the German foreign ministry. However, the Social Democrats, who are prone to compromise with Russia, and the Left, which is even more so, could still become a real challenge for Kyiv. But as these elections have shown, everything can be turned on its head within just a few weeks. So it can't be ruled out yet that the German elections may still have more surprises ahead.”