After serving as German Chancellor for 13 years, Angela Merkel has chosen to step down as head of the country’s leading party, the Christian Democrats Union of Germany (CDU).
Merkel has served as head of the party for 18 years, during which time she took the party to power and became a leading figure in European politics.
Following a decision in 2015 to keep Germany’s borders open to refugees fleeing war in Syria and other parts of the Middle East, Merkel received strong criticism due to increased crime and other issues that have been blamed on the influx of migrants.
However, at her closing speech where she told party constituents it has been a great honor leading the CDU, she was greeted with a standing ovation that lasted up to ten minutes.
So who is in the running to replace Merkel as the next Chancellor of Germany?
The most likely candidate is currently Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, one of Merkel’s own proteges, who has been chosen to succeed as leader of the CDU by 517 out of 999 votes. She narrowly defeated Friedrich Merz who has been vocal in his opposition to Merkel’s open-border policies and believes the money could be spent better supporting the EU. Surveys reveal that Kramp-Karrenbauer has the support not only of the CDU, but also the Christian Social Union (CSU) and Free Democratic Party (FDP). Sportingbet gives Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer a 6/11 chance of leading Germany in 2019.
Supporters of the CDU’s main opposition, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), seem to be split on who they would like to see voted in – with only 52 percent saying they would vote for leading candidate Olaf Scholz. SPD leader Andrea Nahles has been given only a 35 percent vote of confidence from her own party. As a result, no SPD candidate appears in the top four candidates with odds of being next Chancellor.
Second to Kramp-Karrenbauer is Alliance ’90/Greens Party leader Robert Habeck with 6/1 odds from Sportingbet. Habeck and Annalena Baerbock co-chair the Greens Party, which has been benefiting from increased poll numbers recently due to the divisive issues in the Social Democrats party.
Friedrich Merz comes in close behind Habeck with odds of 8/1, with the fourth most likely candidate and fellow CDU party member Jens Spahn given only 1/16 odds.
After ten years working for trading and brokerage firms in the city of London, Mark is now a freelance journalist and writer for various finance and technology publications. In between reading up on the latest developments in fintech, he spends his time traveling the world by bicycle.