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Angela Merkel may triumph but what will her government look like?

Angela Merkel may triumph but what will her government look like?

Germany is going to the polls on Sunday in an election widely predicted to return the nation's current leader to power in the Bundestag, or parliament.

This is perhaps a measure of Angela Merkel's hold on power. Merkel absolutely did the right thing with refugees in 2015, against the trend of her party, and it made a huge difference for Germany and for Europe.

Mr Schulz, 61, a former European Parliament president and leader of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), will take to the stage in a central Berlin square in a last-ditch attempt to turn the race in his favour.

The lagging German Green Party organized a cheerful feast in the center of Berlin, trying to gain some new supporting voters just a few days before the federal elections in Germany starts.

As Germany heads to polls this Sunday, the sense of normality around the election is nearly unnatural.

If Franco-German cooperation develops according to predictions and the already demonstrated commitment of Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, the European Union will become more resistant to unexpected events. Conservatives want lower taxes while Greens want to tax the super rich. Greens have a more liberal migrant policy which could pit them against the CSU, and they oppose plans to increase defense spending.

Climate change, social justice and labour market policy are also topics that affect us all - regardless of whether we are Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists or atheists.

There's a second aspect worth noting in AfD's digital campaign, which this party shares with the SPD: in both cases, online campaigns are highly personalised, revolving to a great extent around spitzenkandidaten (see Figure 3).

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Latest surveys suggest that only another grand coalition of Merkel's conservatives with the SPD or a nationwide untested three-way "Jamaica" alliance of the conservatives, FDP and Greens would have a stable majority. The Left party was showing 11 percent support.

The broadly clean bill of health from political experts and social media watchers is in contrast to the USA and French presidential elections of the past 12 months, in which Russian Federation was accused of trying to influence the outcome.

It's campaigning for a rise in the national minimum wage and an end to welfare cuts as well as the rejection of military missions overseas and the dissolution of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The German voters who accuse Merkel and Schulz of being virtually the same are not far off. It promotes a free economy and individual liberty. But the SPD risks sliding into irrelevance with a third straight term of playing junior partner to Merkel, and may prefer to rebuild in opposition.

As such, they have sought to raise the bar, with their charismatic 38-year old leader, Christian Lindner, making a number of tough demands before considering entering into government.

Merkel has indicated she would like him to stay on, even though the FDP staked a claim for the ministry this week, if it were to become a coalition partner. But it's also too simplistic to say that it has unambiguously weakened her, in part because her rationale-"Wir schaffen das", or "We can handle it"-was an expression of the potential for action, rather than simple, open-armed humanitarianism". What the party's founders and its candidates present to voters is real life satire: they are campaigning for seats in parliament using Erdogan's picture on election posters. Policy clashes would be likely on tax, energy, the European Union, and migrants.

Although no other party will contemplate forming a coalition with them, the AfD's future parliamentary presence has stirred unpleasant memories.

It's been nearly impossible for an openly right-wing party to succeed in modern Germany, where the specter of Nazi rule still unsettles citizens. Accused of appealing to extremist voters on issues such as immigration, they've been put firmly in the spotlight by recent opinion polls.

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