Germany’s rejuvenated SPD leads way in talks to form new coalition

Olaf Scholz best-placed to be chancellor, but CDU’s Armin Laschet is refusing to give in

Carsten Brzeski, chief European economist at ING, discusses the challenges SPD candidate Chancellor Olaf Scholz will face as coalition talks get underway after the tight election win for his party. Video: Reuters/CNBC/NYT

The last time Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) won an election, Carmen Wegge was two days short of her 13th birthday. On Sunday, two days after her 32nd birthday, the lawyer and performance poet won a seat for the party in Bavaria. She was one of 206 jubilant SPD parliamentarians who gathered on Tuesday in Berlin’s Bundestag chamber.

Sunday’s election victory adds 53 seats to the SPD parliamentary party, up a third, and at its first meeting on Tuesday – in the main chamber, to ensure social distancing – the centre-left party seemed unusually young, fresh and diverse.

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