The Social Democrats, led by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, had a narrow lead in the elections in the days leading up to the elections. The Social Democrats were a few percentage points ahead of Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU party, which will not return as chancellor after four terms.
The CDU/CSU put North Rhine-Westphalia Prime Minister Armin Laschet as an alternative to Merkel, but his campaign has been difficult. Annalina Berbuk’s De Groenen climate party did well in the polls earlier this year, but has now slipped to third place.
Polling stations open at 8 am and close at 6 pm. After that, the German media will release opinion polls at the polls and it should be clear which parties have won a place in parliament.
Germany has an electoral threshold of 5 per cent. Parties below this limit cannot claim parliamentary seats unless at least three candidates are directly elected in their constituencies.
In addition to the top candidates SPD, CDU/CSU and De Groenen, Germans can also vote for many other parties. These include the right-wing populist Alternative Party, the Liberal Party and the Socialist Party Die Linke.
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