Merkel may be forced into another ‘Grand Coalition’

by Ken Feltman

Those of you who subscribe to Radnor’s economic and political briefings know that Radnor predicted in April that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would experience late-campaign difficulities again this year. We had predicted the likelihood of a “Grand Coalition” four year ago when we realized the softness of support for the economic ideas advanced by her party, the Christian Democrats, despite her personal popularity.

This time, voters are anxious about the economic recovery and less willing to trust Merkel to lead a right-of-center governing coalition. Thus, despite long odds, the Social Democrats have a chance to force Merkel into another right-left coalition in Sunday’s voting.

Here is an announcement that Radnor sent to the media earlier today, September 23, 2009:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hopes to form a right-of-center governing coalition seem to be slipping away. Her Christian Democrats are sliding in recent polls and the left-of-center Social Democrats are rising.

This trend repeats the pattern of the 2005 election, which saw support for Merkel’s party plunge in the last days. Then, extreme economic policy positions caused the attrition. Now, Merkel’s bland campaign and the economy seem to be the problems.

Not reflected in polling data but surfacing in focus groups are the impressions held by German voters who have relatives or business interests in the former Soviet states of Eastern Europe. Those voters are rankled that Merkel’s government seemed to abandon the Eastern Europeans when the financial crisis hit.

The election is Sunday.

About Radnor Reports

Ken Feltman is past-president of the International Association of Political Consultants and the American League of Lobbyists. He is retired chairman of Radnor Inc., an international political consulting and government relations firm in Washington, D.C. Know as a coalition builder, he has participated in election campaigns and legislative efforts in the United States and several other countries.
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2 Responses to Merkel may be forced into another ‘Grand Coalition’

  1. Kevin says:

    I have been there once a long time ago. I have never forgotten the shrmip cocktail and chocolate desert I had there. I do forget what day it is at times, what I need to get at the groceriy store and where my car is parked. I guess 333 made a lasting impression!

  2. D.I. says:

    I’m shocked that I found this info so easily and how good it is. answered my questions and predicted correctly.

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