Germany is about to have an election, and the polls seem to be sure who’s winning.
German residents will hit the polls on Sunday to elect members to its parliament, which will determine the new government, according to The Washington Post.
Few people are worried about a political crisis based on the election, though. The strong Germany economy and low unemployment levels indicated that Chancellor Angela Merkel will retain her spot under the center-right Christian Democratic Union party.
Merkel’s challenger, Martin Shulz, of the Social Democratic Party, threatened to win the election a few months back thanks to favorable media coverage, the Washington Post reported.
At one point, polls showed him winning head-to-head, but his “lackluster performance on the campaign trail, along with the underlying weakness” led to his downfall, according to The Washington Post.
Though polls indicate Merkel’s win will come easy, here are some storylines to watch for:
A new party emerges: According to NPR, Merkel and the Christian Democratic Union will win the election. But the Alternative fuer Deutschland (Alternative for Germany), or AfD, which has been billed as an “extreme right-wing party,” is poised to make a run.
In fact, it’s just behind the CDU and the Social Democratic Party in the polls.
"It is worrying," Michael Fuchs, a Christian Democrat Bundestag member told NPR. "For the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, there will be a political party within the walls of the Reichstag (parliament) building which does not distance itself from the Nazi past and which tolerates members who publicly express themselves in racist and xenophobic language."
Why Merkel’s victory matters: According to Vice News, Merkel’s likely victory on Sunday indicates that she will be “the longest-serving political leader of a major democratic state.”
She’s likely to keep the same political opinions, which will sit well with those who appreciate Germany’s current standing.
And, she’s been a hit with millennials.
Young voters support Merkel: Don’t get it twisted. Merkel’s victory isn’t because long-time voters plan to re-elect her. Instead, it’s because millennials are so supportive of her.
Young voters told BuzzFeed News that Merkel’s stand in support of refugees make her a viable candidate. She’s also opposed both Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump, with some proclaiming her as a leader of the free world.
How the election works: CNBC offered a good explainer about how the elections work in Germany.
Voters can cast two votes — the leader they want for their region and for a political party, which “means that voters can split their votes between parties when voting for the constituency candidate they want to see in parliament, and the party they support.”
The Bundestag, which is the lower house of government that makes laws, then elects the chancellor based on an absolute majority. Whichever candidate wins the most votes becomes the chancellor.