Latest updates as SPD and CDU battle it out to become largest party in the Bundestag
The gap between the SPD and CDU/CSU continues to widen as official results from polling stations come in and postal votes are tallied.
The lastest projections from the two public broadcasters ARD and ZDF at just after 9pm local time both put the centre-left party ahead, one by 1.2 percentage points (25.7% to 24.5%) and the other by 1.5 points (26% to 24.5%).
In a wide-ranging opinion piece, broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s editor-in-chief Manuela Kasper-Claridge says the days of caution and marginal compromise characterised by Germany’s previous grand coalition between the CU/CSU and SPD are over and German voters want change.
Major 21st-century challenges such as the climate crisis, the digital revolution and modernsing Germany can “only be solved in cooperation with the smaller parties – in all conceivable coalitions, the Greens and the FDP will have a big say. Nothing will work without them — and that’s a good thing,” she said.