Opinion polls suggest the German chancellor Angela Merkel may be on her way back to power in tomorrow’s election but without her preferred coalition partners. The German left is sounding the alarm if it is frozen out of Berlin.
Both big parties are working hard to get the large number of undecided voters to swing for them, and the overall result remains too close to call. “And so it will be useful – even late in the evening and tomorrow – to talk to every neighbour, friend and acquaintance and ask: will you go? what will you do?” said Merkel in the capital at a final rally. These are the last hours when the leader’s have a last chance to galvanise party workers. Frank Walter Steinmeyer is brandishing the social security wasteland he says the right will rollout if it can dump the SPD as its partner; job and spending cuts, the abandonment of the minimum wage, more part-time work, fewer skilled jobs and higher unemployment. He needs to capture as many of the one in four undecideds as possible. If the FDP can return to government it will be a triumph for leader Guido Westerwelle after over a quarter of a century in the wilderness. The Liberals are the German right’s traditonal coalition partners, but need to score well to be able to deliver an absolute majority, or dictate terms when the jobs are shared out. As it stands the smaller parties will do well, as voters have traditionally been lukewarm about the nation being run by the big two parties together, and vote for them less when they do. The right’s major worry seems to be another last-minute dip in support. They will be hoping the last opinion polls were a blip.