Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
3 August 2021updated 13 Sep 2021 10:04am

German election 2021: The New Statesman’s poll tracker

Germany goes to the polls on 26 September to elect a new Bundestag. Who will succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor?

By Ben Walker

The latest polls

Which coalitions are possible?

Germany will go to the polls on 26 September to elect a new parliament and chancellor. After 16 years of service, Angela Merkel is leaving front line politics, with Armin Laschet already chosen by the CDU/CSU alliance to replace her as party leader.

Hear more on the Germany Elects podcast

But Laschet hasn’t been a hit with the electorate. In 2017 just 15 per cent of voters were unsure about who they wanted to be the next chancellor. By July 2020 that figure was as high as 45 per cent.

Who do Germans want to be their next chancellor?
Public preference for chancellor when given the options of Armin Laschet (CDU/CSU), Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Annalena Baerbock (Green).
Source: New Statesman tracker of the latest polls

With uncertainty comes opportunity for alternative parties. The Green Party’s Annalena Baerbock, for instance, exceeded expectations in May with a surge in the opinion polls.

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.

While the Greens’ ratings have since deflated, a few more surprises could be on their way.

Environmental issues are prominent in the minds of many Germans, and the recent flooding and Coronavirus crises have been important issues this election campaign.

Content from our partners
The shrinking road to net zero
The tree-planting misconception
Is your business ready for corporate climate reporting?

In contrast, the issue of immigration, through which the AfD gained entry to the Bundestag in 2017, is now less prominent in the minds of voters.

Whether this translates into a second, or third, Green surge is yet to be seen.

While voters are dissatisfied with Merkel’s anointed successor as party leader, most are content with the current coalition government.

Germans are mostly satisfied with the current coalition government
Public satisfaction with the republic's coalition government – Forschungsgruppe Wahlen polling

Germans elect their parliament with two votes. The first is to elect their local constituency representative, and the second is for the party they support regionally and nationally. Local representatives are elected under the Westminster-style first-past-the-post system. But the second vote is for a party list rather than an individual representative, and this is used to make the overall legislature proportional – similar to the system used for electing "list" MSPs in the Scottish parliament.

This map shows how the constituency results are expected to pan out this September according to modelling from This shows only the first vote and not the second, so it is not an accurate representation of the next Bundestag. The CDU/CSU have often dominated the number of local representatives elected under first past the post, and so do not often win many Bundestag members via the second vote (not mapped).

The Greens, by contrast, have in recent years won only one constituency (Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg-Prenzlauer Berg East, in Berlin), with all of their other MPs elected via the second vote and the lists. It is a measure of the party's increased support that it now looks set to take constituencies across big city and prosperous rural areas of the country.

Who will win the constituencies?
Latest direct mandate (constituency) forecast from

This page will be updated as more data becomes available.

The New Statesman has created trackers to keep an eye on the state of public opinion in Germany. Both the voting intention and preference for chancellor trackers use the same methodology as Britain Elects uses to measure public opinion across the UK.

Sample size, historical results, fieldwork length and party prompts are all factored in.