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German Election: Introducing The Main Parties – From CDU To AfD

Date: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 9:56 AM EST

An overview of economic platforms

In the aftermath of the Dutch, Austrian and French elections, markets now turn their attention to the most important of the eurozone elections: the German election. As the country is the largest economy in the eurozone, the nation’s political leadership can have a key impact on the health of the eurozone economy and the election race is being closely tracked by investors. In this article, we introduce the main political parties running in this election.

CDU/CSU

April 28, 2017, Sierksdorf: Angela Merkel on an election campaign at the family day from the CDU

The Christlich-Demokratishce Union (CDU) is Germany’s main centre-right party. The party formed in 1950 after World War two and developed out of the Centre Right party, which dated back to 1870 and is now defunct. At the core of the party’s ideology is a belief in conservative social values and a social market economy which is essentially a free market which also focuses on social equity. The party also supports European integration as well as membership of NATO.

In terms of those supporting the party, the key demographic tends to be the Catholic population in south west and western regions though there is growing support among those with different religious beliefs as well as non-religious persons. The party is led by current Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Christlich-Soziale Union (CSU) is the CDU’s sister party and the two tend to be in agreement on most issues although the CSU is typically more socially conservative. Although the party is a national party it only stands for office in Bavaria where it was founded in 1945 and has governed the area since 1949 except for three years over 1950-1953. The party is led by Horst Seehofer.

SPD

February 19, 2017, Lübeck: Politician and candidate for chancellor Martin Schulz from the SPD at a election campaign

The Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD) developed out of the labour movement of the 19th century and began as a Marxist party, founded in 1875, making it Germany’s oldest political party. The party has traditionally been supported by working class voters with the majority of its support coming from the bigger protestant cities in the North of Germany and industrial cities of the Ruhr, however over recent years it has made more effort to engage the middle class.

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