German election 2017: The minor party set to decide the country’s fate

There has only been one occasion in Germany’s history since 1957 that a single party has held an outright majority.

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As always, it will be the politicians in the driver’s seat when it comes to deciding what the nation’s next government will look like.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats are once again tipped to share the political stage with the Free Democratic Party (FDP).

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So which party or individual will hold the balance of power?

“We are very open for coalitions,” Katharina Ziolkowski, from the FDP, said.

“[But] I must tell you it is better for us to make good policy as an opposition party than bad policy as one of the ruling parties.”

The liberal FDP were wiped out at the last election in 2013 – failing to win a single seat – despite the fact it had long held the balance of power.

“Four years ago the voters have thrown us out of the federal parliament, this is the truth, this is how you need to say it,” Ms Ziolowski said.

“And they were right. And we needed to reinvent ourselves and we did it in a bottom-up process, very democratic.”

Tipped to finish with 38 percent of the vote, Ms Merkel may need more than one partner to govern. 

But having having ruled-out deals with the far-right and the left, that leaves a so-called ‘Jamaica Coalition’ bringing together the black-branded Christian Democracts, yellow-branded liberals and the greens. 

The chancellor has expressed concern that voter apathy could favour the anti-immigration cause. 

“There are many undecided people,” Ms Merkel said.

“And I want to repeat: this is a big deal. we live in uncertain times, if we look at the world outside of germany and europe. and we must put things on the right track for the future.

“And therefore, I have been especially on the move in the last couple of days to ask everybody to vote.”