There was a clear victor in Germany’s general election on Sunday. His name is Olaf Scholz. He has somehow managed to revive his almost lifeless Social Democratic Party (SPD) within just a few months, such that it was able to attract more votes than any other party. He managed to maximize his chances to the point that he could be moving into the Chancellery in a few weeks. He has led the way in his party’s resurrection. Some in the SPD are calling it a miracle.
It was hardly a surprise, then, that Scholz laid claim to the Chancellery on Sunday evening. "The citizens of this country want change. They want the next chancellor to be the candidate from the SPD,” Scholz said when he finally appeared before his supporters at SPD headquarters in Berlin an hour after the polls closed.
But there is another candidate who also sees himself as victor: Armin Laschet from outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU). While his party received its lowest share of the vote ever in postwar Germany, Laschet at least managed to stop his party’s rapid plummet in the final days before the election. He helped ensure that the CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) (collectively known as the Union) didn’t slide all the way to 20 percent, leaving open the possibility that he, too, might be able to cobble together a coalition with himself in the Chancellery.