Close SPD GroKo vote expected

The outcome of the SPD‘s Sunday’s conference on the grand coalition (GroKo) deal is still difficult to call. The votes from the state parties that have made recommendations are too few to serve as a reliable indicator.

SPD leader Schulz has toured the federal parties this week to persuade a sceptical membership to back GroKo at this Sunday’s conference.

Yes for Groko

Schulz has argued that the deal the SPD has negotiated won concessions that far outweighed the SPD’s size in the proposed coalition.

Ralf Stegner, Deputy SPD Chairman, warned in an interview with Focus Online that early elections would help the AfD:

“The alternatives are new elections that nobody wants and in the end may help the right-wing populists.”

The polls are giving weight to this threat of early elections. On Friday the polls showed the SPD slipping below 20{3960e34902b17726ab2e917772ce8f42036738fd515a86e63f9152ec8ca0006d}.

However, those opposed to GroKo have also deployed compelling arguments.

No to GroKo

Opponents argue that the SPD would pay the cost of participation in another grand alliance as they did September last year. Their parliamentary numbers sunk to their lowest for decades.

The right-wing populist AfD would become the official opposition. Along with that additional power the AfD would enjoy a greater status.

The deal’s opponents also say that concessions won by the SPD in the talks fall far short of the campaign promises made by the SPD.

This leaves the prospect of a close vote on Sunday.

Debate finely balanced

The GroKo debate is finely balanced according to insiders. But the balance does seem to be with the GroKo supporting leadership[1].

The chairman of the SPD Saxony parliamentary group, Dirk Panter, expects GroKo to be passed, “…about 50 to 60 percent of delegates will vote for it”

This is given further weight by Kevin Kühnert, head of the youth wing Juso, a vocal opponent of GroKo. He said on Thursday:

“The general mood is that Sunday is open”. The GroKo opponents have a “..real, real chance to win this ballot”.

Whatever the the result, this Sunday’s vote will have an impact well beyond Germany.

Economic fundamentals or political risks

A yes vote would give the appearance of the political moving in closer alignment with the economic. This will probably reinforce the current focus on improved economic fundamentals.

A no vote on the other hand would serve as a sharp reminder that political risks are ever present…

Gary Hollands

Geopolitical analyst Tyga FX

1. Michael Groschek the leader of the largest SPD federal party, North Rhine-Westphalia, speaking on Friday confidently predicted that:

“A convincing majority will say yes to coalition negotiations”.