Agencies: The center-left Social Democratic Party won Germany’s election, defeating Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union by 1.6 percentage points, with 25.7 percent of the vote. Olaf Scholz did the unthinkable, carrying his long-dead Social Democrats to victory.
The hardest part is yet to come: For the first time since the 1950s, the next chancellor will have to get at least three different parties behind a governing deal. The process could take months.
If Scholz does become chancellor, his term is likely to be full of compromise with his coalition partners. The conservative runner-up, Armin Laschet, could still beat him to the top job.
“No one should behave as if he alone could build a government,” Laschet told reporters Monday. “He who can build a majority to back him will become chancellor.”
What’s next: Germany’s political landscape has fractured into multiple parties that differ less in size. Scholz said that voters gave a “clear mandate” that the next government should be created by his party, as well as the progressive Greens, with 14.8 percent of voter support, and the pro-business Free Democrats, with 11.5 percent.
Impact: E.U. policy may be delayed as leaders wait for Germany’s new government to take shape.
Related: Two Greens candidates, Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik, became the first transgender women to join the German Parliament.