The first preliminary projections in the German election have been released, as usual, at 18.00. As expected, the Union have the most votes. As unexpected, they’re not doing nearly as well as people had thought, polling a mere 2% ahead of the SPD at 35.7%. Of those 10 million voters ‘undecided’ as the campaign drew to a close, 30% broke for the Union, but 33% for SPD. The big surprise is the FDP, who with more than 10% are doing much better than I’d have expected. But at this point neither B/Y nor R/G have a majority.
This is all to be taken with many very large grains of salt. It’s early evening yet, and those numbers are but a preliminary extrapolation. Still, at this moment the likeliest outcomes (to judge on a purely numerical basis) seem to be a grand coalition or the ‘Ampel‘ that everybody had been rejecting out of hand.