Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
24 September 2021

How Germany’s Social Democrats are set for major election gains

Polling suggests that Olaf Scholz’s party will win its highest number of constituency seats since 1998.

By Ben Walker

Germany’s Social Democrats are set to finish first in this Sunday’s federal election, ending 16 years of electoral dominance by Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.

The latest polls find the CDU/CSU’s vote share is set to decline by 11 points compared to 2017, allowing Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party to open a five-point lead.

The latest constituency projection from INSA would see the SPD win 182 of the 299 constituency seats up for grabs, the highest number for the party since 1998.

SPD set for big constituency gains this Sunday
Constituency forecast for the 26 September German federal election

Such impressive wins on an constituency level, however, will not translate into an overall majority at the Bundestag. The complications of the German electoral system mean that constituency seats are not the only seats. To allow for a more proportional form of representation, for example, German citizens get two votes this Sunday, with most of their parliamentary representatives elected not by constituency (as in the UK and the US), but by the proportional, regional, voting system.

This constituency projection from INSA, however, represents unambiguous progress by the SPD as they look to return to the centre of German politics.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Fantastic mental well-being strategies and where to find them