Close Outcome of the 2005 Elections (September 18, 2005)
Like previous Bundestag elections, the 2005 elections were fought as a campaign between two entrenched camps, with the “bourgeois-conservative” camp of the CDU/CSU and FDP facing off against the incumbent SPD-Green coalition. Surveys predicted a clear victory for the CDU, and a CDU/CSU and FDP coalition was practically regarded as a given in the media. But thanks to a brilliant campaign by Chancellor Schröder, the SPD did not fall completely out of favor with the electorate and was at least able to capture 34.2 percent of the second votes. Contrary to the expectations raised by survey results, the CDU garnered only 35.2 percent – a bitter disappointment for the party. The Greens and the FDP, the potential coalition partners of the mainstream parties, received 8.1 and 9.8 percent, respectively. Since the Left Party.PDS also performed exceptionally well (8.7 percent), the elections consolidated the five-party system. The loss of votes suffered by the large parties made it extremely difficult to form a government, since neither a left-wing SPD-Green coalition nor a bourgeois-conservative alliance between the CDU/CSU and FDP commanded a majority. This photo was taken at the FDP party headquarters after the polls closed; the newspaper headline reads: “Red-Green voted out. Slight lead for the Union.” Photo: Alexander Rüsche.
(c) dpa – Report