What’s German for “Meh?”

The aspirations of Instapundit-approved bloggers aside, it looks like German voters have swung neither to the right nor the left in today’s elections. In 2002, the vote broke down like this:

LEFT – 51.1%
Social Democrats – 38.5%
Greens – 8.6%
PDS – 4.0%

RIGHT – 45.9%
Christian Democrats – 38.5%
Free Democrats – 7.4%

In 2005, it’s breaking down like this:

LEFT – 50.8%%
Social Democrats – 34.2%
Left Party – 8.5%
Greens – 8.1%

RIGHT – 45.4%
Christian Democrats – 35.4%
Free Democrats – 10%

In other words, if the exit polls hold up, the three major parties of the Left – ranging from mainstream socialists to anarco-communists – can form a majority. And a grand 1% of Germans have changed their political sympathies.

UPDATE: Ah, apparently Schroder doesn’t want to work with the Left Party. Whatever. My point is that the left/right makeup of Germans has not budged in 3 years. Considering the impressive hype for CDU leader Angela Merkel, that’s pretty weak. In her first campaign as Conservative leader, Margaret Thatcher increased her party’s vote from 35.8% to 43.9%, and Labour and the Liberals fell from 39.3% and 18.3% (a total 57.6%) to 36.9% and 13.8% (a total 50.7%). This is more impressive than it looks – the Liberals at the time were a centrist party having little in common with the diehard socialists of Labour. Liberals actually cast the deciding votes to throw out the Labour government and call the election that was won by Thatcher. For the next 18 years, the Conservatives held a rock-solid 42%+ of the vote, dominating most of the country outside Scotland, Wales, inner London, and the north. By comparison, Merkel has grown Germany’s conservative base from 39% to … uh, 35%.

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