Three scenarios for the Bundestag

The FDP could win big should there be new elections. Their tactics could also backfire.

First, the FDP might succeed in what they apparently are trying to do, ie. playing the Trump card. They are trying to win the votes of people with a liberal view of economics, plus people with rightist views on society topics in the new elections probably taking place in February.

FDP doing the splits

That might work, at least in the short term. If the FDP gets above 15 %, they will almost be in a position to choose their partner: CDU/CSU or SPD-Green party. In the long term however, it will be difficult to keep up “doing the splits” (as they say in German). The FDP might end up losing on both ends and vanish from the political scene. Also, this might fail even in the short term and the FDP would lose the new elections.

German federal election Results by Bundestag seats Wikimedia Furfur CC BY-SA 4.0

Results from September 2017 (Wikimedia Furfur CC BY-SA 4.0)

A second, more tactically sound scenario would see the FDP campaigning mainly on the right edge, trying to get even more protest votes in the new elections than they got in September. Whereas the CDU with Angela Merkel would take care of the voters that are afraid of instability and want to vote for a moderate big party. This scenario might end up giving the CDU/CSU + FDP an absolute majority, thus avoiding them the complicated negotiations with the Green party.

CDU-SPD – really a surprise?

In the long term however, again, the future of such a rightist FDP is unclear and probably not very bright. Plus, a CDU-CSU-FDP government would pave the way for an agreement within the progressive camp. In 2021, we might see a “Red-Red-Green” government, something many progressive people have been hoping for.

A third scenario would still be worse for the FDP in the short term. After all, it was them who dropped out of the negotiations with the CDU, CSU and Green party, obviously hoping for a better result in new elections. This might backfire in the case of new elections. If the German voters, for fear of instability, turn towards the big parties, the result might be a coalition of SPD and CDU.

It may also backfire without elections, if the SPD, unlike what they said til now, agrees to negotiate with the CDU and ends up again forming a government with them. For sure there’s a lot of reasons why both big parties don’t like that scenario. However I never took the SPD’s claim they would never go with the CDU at face value. Not that I would like it, but another “big coalition” in 2018 or even in 2017 wouldn’t surprise me.

What do you think?