I confess immediately that any interest I might have in the detail of German general elections would only arise were I sleeping badly and in need of an instant soporific. Apparently the Germans feel the same! The headline in a Spiegel piece is "Wake Germany Up When the Election Is Over". By and large, polls, presumably taken from those still awake, indicate that Angela Merkel's party, the CDU, has about a 16-point lead over the main opposition the Socialist SPD. But according to Ben Mason at The Coffee House it might not be the walk-over, or stroll over, that everyone expects. The German election system is hideously complicated and the outcome nearly always requires that the leading party form a coalition with another junior partner. Hitherto, the CDU has teamed up with the Free Democrats FDP, but they are unlikely to reach the magic 5% of the popular vote which is needed to be allotted parliamentary seats. In a recent by-election, the CDU tried to help their partners out by asking their members to support them for this particular election. Some did but not enough and the Socialists slipped in through the gap! Again, according to Spiegel, the Socialists are unpopular over their plan to increase taxation on the rich! Given their appalling standing in the polls they are now considering ditching this promise. So, not quite a done deal in Deutschland!
Similarly, those assuming a Tory romp home in a couple of years should think again. I can't remember where I read it but some wiseacre was pointing out that although Labour, under the inept non-leadership of 'Milipede', look like the Titanic an hour after the iceberg hit, nevertheless, at least the Labour vote is together and united - indeed, you call it today, the 'Unite' vote given that the party is owned lock, stock and stinking barrel by the enormously rich Unite union! The important point is that there is no serious Left-wing alternative to the Labour party. In addition, they will be assisted by Left-wing 'il-Lib-non-Dem' voters fleeing Clegg and all he stands for, er, that's Clegg, of course. They could take several seats off the Lib-Dems. Meanwhile, if only UKIP party members could actually agree amongst themselves the next time they have their party meeting in the local Saloon Bar they will leech a considerable vote away from the Tories. 'Dim Dave' continues with the absolute determination of the monumentally stupid to upset as many Tory voters as possible by driving high-speed trains through their back gardens, building utterly useless windmills in mostly Tory-voting areas and by his softly-softly attitude to Europe. Stick around, 'Milipede' could yet creep under the door to No. 10!