27 September (WNN) — In Germany’s federal election, the left-leaning Social Democratic Party narrowly defeated outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, according to official preliminary results posted early Monday.
The Federal Returning Office said the SPD earned 25.7% of the CDU’s 24.1% of the vote, while the Green Party came third with 14.8%. Voting for the election was 76.6% of the eligible voters.
The result gives the SPD 206 seats in the 735-seat parliament, an increase of 53 from the 2017 election while the CDU’s 151 seats represent a decline of 49.
Since it got less than the 398 seats needed to form a majority government, the SPD will now try to form a coalition government.
CNN reported that SPD leader and German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told his supporters that the votes were being tabulated that the result was a “huge success”.
“Many citizens have put their cross before the SPD because they want a change of government and also because they want the next chancellor of this country to be called Olaf Scholz,” the 63-year-old said.
The election results mean Germany will have a chancellor for the first time in 16 years other than Merkel, who has announced she will not run for re-election.
North Rhine-Westphalia’s 60-year-old governor Armin Laschet was voted to replace Merkel as head of the CDU in January, and told his supporters the party was not satisfied with the result.
“We can see that there can be a government with three parties,” he said, adding that he would “do everything to try to form a coalition.”