The German Election, One Number to Keep an Eye on


While the Freedom Party in Austria managed to garner more than 46 percent of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential elections.

An opinion poll for public broadcaster ARD said 55% of viewers found her more convincing, while 35% were won over by the SPD leader. "We are fighting full time, 100 percent, every minute of every day", said Andreas Gunther, head of the party's Department of International Policy.

The Left are hovering around 9%, but the party most pleased with its current polling is AfD, at about 10% and is nearly certain to win seats in the Bundestag this year for the first time in its short history. Above all, the FDP is so confident that even party officials said they would strike a hard bargain with Merkel since this would be her natural coalition ally.

All leadership bodies in the party must also have women in at least 50 percent of their slots. The Social Democrats" (SPD) slogan focuses on "equity, ' and the key term "future" is at the epicentre of the Greens' (Die Grünen).

Take immigration. Most Germans feel the country has taken in enough refugees, but economists argue it needs high-skilled migrants to make up for a shrinking working-age population. On talk-show panels, he banters with studio audiences nearly as frequently as with his political rivals.

Yet, while Germany's role in trying to force Athens back onto the financial straight and narrow has sparked resentment - with Berlin cast in the villain's role for demanding fiscal rectitude - most Greeks appear unfazed at Merkel's expected re-election next week.

With the likeliness of German Chancellor Merkel and Indian PM Modi serving another political term, there prevails huge potential to embark on a mutually beneficial path to peace, prosperity and sustainability in an increasingly reclusive world. For the seven years between 1998 and 2005, the centre-left party SDP formed a coalition with the Greens, forming the only post-war left wing coalition. While we can expect Merkel to stay at the helm, her choice of coalition partner will influence Germany's domestic and foreign policy over the next four years.

Merkel also hit the campaign trail yesterday, warning that an SPD-led, leftist coalition without the CDU was an experiment that Germany could not afford. With a strong voice in EU and Germany's significant economic engagement with India, Merkel could lead to India-EU free trade negotiations, while addressing Indian interests.

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Schulz was long considered a potential candidate for chancellor but it was still a surprise when the Social Democrats' then-leader, Sigmar Gabriel, stepped aside in January to let him run. The environmentalist Greens stood at 8 per cent. For Farage, what's alarming isn't AfD - it's Merkel, whose open-doors policy on refugees he has described as the "worst decision by any leader in modern political history".

In early August, Lindner caused controversy when he said in an interview that the issue of Russia's annexation of Crimea should be "encapsulated" so progress could be made on other issues.

There are 299 voting districts, and candidates who win in their district gets a seat in the Berlin parliament. He added that the West should consider loosening sanctions on Russia as incentive for progress in other areas of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

"We're gradually becoming foreigners in our own country". The Free Democrats want to get rid of those restrictions.

The German elections are also of paramount importance for the wider European continent. "Let's make them ourselves'". The latter, which holds abhorrent, far-right xenophobic views, will probably enter the Bundestag after these elections. And the party is appealing to younger people again.

The FDP is the one to watch here.

With a week to go until a general election, the "dieselgate" emissions cheating scandal has emerged as a top campaign issue and cast a shadow over the glitzy motor show.

The SPD rally is a facade, too: band, beer and leaflets masking the disarray in Germany's oldest party.