The battle for undecided voters is reaching its climax as campaigning in the German election draws to close. Christian Democrat opposition leader Angela Merkel still appears in confident mood despite recent gains by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. The latest polls show that his Social Democrats and their Green allies have reduced the conservatives’ lead to the extent that it appears unlikely they could form a majority government.
And there is still a lot to play for. Another survey says that even at this late stage around 30 percent of the electorate have not yet made up their minds. “I don’t know who I’ll give my vote to,” said one woman shopper in the centre of Berlin. “I didn’t follow Schroeder’s speech last night but everything we need to know has been said already. I have to work out what I’ll do on Sunday”. “The government, no matter who it is, has to work on not increasing the debt burden which is too heavy on people. The purchasing power of people is not strong enough,” another man said. A so-called ‘grand coalition’ involving the two main parties appeared unthinkable two weeks ago but now the prospect is looming large. If it can succeed in reducing unemployment and stimulating economic growth Germans will not mind that it is an unnatural political alliance.