Berlin, Sep 26 (EFE).- Germany’s Social Democratic Party headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Olaf Scholz received the most votes – 26 percent – on Sunday in the general election, while the conservative bloc headed by Armin Laschet obtained 24 percent, according to the first exit polling from the ZDF public television network.
Another exit poll, by ARD public television, put both Scholz and Laschet at 25 percent.
As of 7:14 pm German time, further election tallies showed that the SPD had obtained 24.9 percent of the vote and the conservative bloc formed by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian counterpart, the Christian Social Union (CSU), had obtained 24.7 percent.
Significantly, this appears to be the worst result obtained by the CDU-CSU bloc in its history.
In third place in all polling are the Greens headed by Annalena Baerbock with between 14-15 percent, followed by the Liberal Party (FDP) with 11-12 percent.
The Greens and the Liberal Party will be the keys to forming a workable coalition government in Germany after the vote, with both Scholz and Laschet – depending on which one wins the plurality in the final analysis – ready to work with them both to obtain a parliamentary majority.
The ultrarightist Alternative for Germany (AfD), a party excluded as a potential coalition partner by the rest of the parliamentary spectrum, has obtained 10.9 percent of the votes, according to early tallies from exit polls, 1.7 percent below what it achieved in the 2017 election.
Although the AfD appears to have lost ground in this election compared with its performance four years ago, representatives of the party said they were satisfied with what they had achieved at the polls.
“It was said that four years later we would be out of parliament and once again we’re above 10 percent. It’s a success,” said the co-president of the group, Alice Weidel.
The Left is hovering at about 5 percent, which is the minimum vote percentage needed to obtain seats in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament.
The two exit polls imply a drop of up to 10 percentage points in the number of votes obtained by the conservatives compared with the 2017 election results, while the SPD appears to have garnered some 6 percent more votes.
The general elections on Sunday are the first since 2005 in which Chancellor Angela Merkel is not running at the head of the conservatives after 16 years leading Germany.