Social Democrats narrowly win German elections

Germany's Social Democratic Party defeated the Christian Democratic Union in Germany's federal election this Sunday, a win for the country's center-left and SDP leader Olaf Scholz. "I'll be darned," said Joe Biden this morning. But though the vote represented a miserable showing for the CDU's Armin Laschet—outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel's intended successor—either party might still form a governing coalition given the closeness of the vote.

Olaf Scholz said voters wanted him to be next chancellor. "Many citizens have put their crosses next to the SPD because they want there to be a change in government and also because they want the next chancellor of this country to be called Olaf Scholz," he said in remarks at his party's headquarters. The 63-year-old politician has served as the vice-chancellor and German finance minister in Merkel's grand coalition government since 2018, earning him increased visibility as he navigated Germany's economic response to the pandemic.

With almost all districts reporting in, the SDP has 26% of the vote, the CDU 24%, the greens 15%, the euro-libertarian FDP 11%, the right-wing AfD on 10% and the "populist" left Die Linke on 5%. Above, a chart from Politico's coverage shows how the vote drained from center-right to center-left in the last few years.