Election Coverage

Germany Votes

German Elections

Nothing to Fear from Refugees

A few months ago it looked like the topic of immigration could keep Angela Merkel from a fourth term in office, but things have changed a lot since then.

Gerhard Schröder

The Enemy Within

The nomination of the still-influential former chancellor to the board of Russian state oil company Rosneft is posing a problem for his Social Democratic Party during Germany’s election campaign.

Safe Hands

Germany Sleepwalks into Election

The German election campaign has had a soporifically slow start. Is the chancellor trying to bore voters into maintaining the status quo?

home stretch

Easing into Electioneering

Chancellor Angela Merkel talked NATO, Donald Trump, and what she likes about her rivals in an interview launching campaign season.

German elections

The Change Candidate Who Needs to Change

A new study published just weeks ahead of Germany’s elections shows that voters want change. The problem is, they don’t really like Martin Schulz, the only realistic alternative to Angela Merkel.

Christian Democrats

Not Your Average Backbencher

One likely newcomer to the Bundestag after September 24 is Thomas Heilmann. Having done seemingly every other job already, he may be one to watch.

Defection Debacle

Snap State Election Goes National

Just weeks before the federal election, the Social Democrats have suffered a demoralizing blow in the state of Lower Saxony. The SPD's effort to unseat German Chancellor Angela Merkel now looks more imperiled than ever.

Germany’s Liberals

Free Democrats Thinking in New Ways

Germany’s pro-business party is making a stunning comeback. An American expert on Germany ponders what that could mean for the next government.

Angela Merkel

The Body Language of Power

In a world of bullies and machos, Angela Merkel keeps ending up on top. Andreas Kluth, our editor-in-chief, deconstructs how.

Lose-lose-lose situation

Martin Schulz’s Refugee Gamble

Politicians try to make refugees an election issue two months ahead of the polls. This could upset a delicate balance across Europe, writes a policy expert.

Weekly Review

Merkel’s Options, Merkel’s Gestures

As the German election approaches, you have to understand two things: the parties that could form a governing coalition, and the sheer political skill, as expressed in her body language, of Angela Merkel.

Handelsblatt Explains

Why the Free Democrats Could Be Kingmakers Again

Christian Lindner, leader of Germany’s FDP, is hell-bent on bringing the pro-business liberal party out of Hades and back to Berlin.

germany housing crisis, berlin construction

Merkel vs. Schulz

Housing Shortage Gets Political

With skyrocketing rents and housing prices in much of Germany, Social Democrats hope to turn housing into an election issue against Angela Merkel.

Handelsblatt explains

Why Germany’s Greens Need to Turn a New Leaf

Liberal on ecological and social issues but out of step with voters' security fears, the sunflower party has arrived in the political middle and is wondering where to go from there.

Everyday Populists

No Extremism Please, We’re German

Given Germany’s history, the reassuringly unalarming results of a new study on populism are perhaps not all that unexpected. But there were still some surprises - including the fact that most of Germany’s populists are also centrists.

Free Democrats

A Hopeful Kingmaker

The pro-business FDP has announced its campaign manifesto, calling for deep tax cuts and a new immigration law, as the party navigates a return to Berlin.

Martin Schulz

Praying For a Chance

Many think the Social Democratic contender for chancellor has already lost his struggle to push Angela Merkel from her throne. Has he?

Merkel's Manifesto

More Police, Homes and Jobs

Angela Merkel and her Bavarian ally, Horst Seehofer, know what many conservative voters want to hear around election time, delivering a list of pledges on Monday to secure their votes in September.

rising stars

The CDU’s Got Talent

A group of Chancellor Angela Merkel's possible successors meets Mondays at a breakfast club, jockeying for positions ahead of the election.

Federal Election

Schulz Shadowboxes Merkel

Martin Schulz is desperately trying to save the decline of his campaign, this time by better defining policies. But a top economist told Handelsblatt some plans are a "mess".

Federal Elections

Merkel’s Conservative Bloc Shows Cracks

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives are struggling to agree an election manifesto because of continued disagreement over her open-door refugee policy.

Manuela Schwesig

The Rising Star from the East

Once dismissed as "Seaside Barbie," Mecklenburg-West Pomerania's formidable new state premier could go all the way to the chancellery.


Merkel’s House of Cards

Germany's conservatives are dominating the opinion polls, but a dearth of concrete policy proposals could give the Social Democrats another opening.

Merkel and Schulz

A Dangerous Lack of Vision

Campaigning for German elections is ramping up. But so far, politicians’ promises are more about superficial change than any grand vision for the nation's future. And that is perilous.

Social Democrats

Schulz Attack

Martin Schulz, the SPD's challenger to Angela Merkel, is down in the polls but not out. His party just renewed its vows to him. Merkel's Christian Democrats find much to make fun of.

Party Manifesto

Greens Dump Coal, Embrace Same-Sex Marriage

Germany's environmental party, down in the polls, hopes to gain votes with an election manifesto heavy on climate and human-rights issues, with a dash of security.


Standing Up for Freedom

Trying to be re-elected to the Bundestag in September, the pro-business Free Democrats are focusing on civil liberties over tax cuts.

Election Campaign

Social Democrats Surprise with Measured Tax Proposal

Chancellor Merkel's challengers presented their long-awaited tax proposal ahead of the federal elections and struck a measured tone that saw unexpected changes in key demands.

Power Poker

The Social Democrats’ Leftist Option

Germany's most left-leaning party has opened the door for a possible coalition with the Social Democrats and the Greens, should the numbers add up after September's federal elections.


Liberal Leader Says German Economy is ‘on Drugs’

Christian Lindner, in a Handelsblatt interview, says the Germany economy is artificially inflated and warns that Chancellor Merkel's conservatives are too complacent.

Social Democrats

Pension Pandering

With a multi-billion-euro pension reform proposal, Social Democratic chancellor candidate Martin Schulz hopes to give his struggling party a boost in the polls ahead of the federal election.


Left Party Leader Demands Clear Line from SPD

The head of Germany’s socialist Left Party, Sahra Wagenknecht, is upping the pressure on the Social Democrats to form a clear left-wing alliance ahead of this year’s elections.

Social Democrats

Rudderless SPD Campaign

Martin Schulz, the Social Democratic leader and chancellor candidate, has appointed a new campaign boss just four months ahead of federal elections, in a move to revive his faltering campaign.

Election Run-up

Business Hopes for Center-Right Government

Strong results for the FDP in regional elections have increased hopes for a business-friendly center-right government coalition after the September elections.

Fiscal Fortunes

Growing Calls For Tax Cuts

Tax revenues have reached another record high. With September's elections looming, all parties are beginning to demand the government ease the tax burden on Germany's middle classes.

Election Year

Pro-Business FDP on Upswing

A strong showing in Germany's most populous state on Sunday could give the Free Democratic Party the momentum for a return to Berlin in September.

Counterintuitive Finding

Yes, Populist Leaders Can …. Boost Markets

Contrary to fears of populist leaders like Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen wreaking havoc on capital markets, they can lift stock prices, a study reveals.

talent Card plan

Greens Call for Skills-Based Immigration

Germany needs skilled immigrants more than ever and the opposition Green party wants to attract more of them by relaxing the rules. But in the wake of the refugee crisis, the ruling conservatives aren’t interested.

Survival Bid

Green Is Not the New Black

They’ve already crashed out of the regional Saarland parliament. Could the Bundestag be next?  The German environmentalist party is fighting for its political survival.

Fringe Party

Far-Right AfD Falling Out of Favor

Four months before the next general election, a recent survey found 74 percent of Germans don’t consider the anti-immigrant AfD “a normal, democratic party.”