It could hardly be tighter: After the repeat elections in Berlin, the SPD finally defended second place in front of the Greens - with a lead of just 53 votes. The clear winner is the CDU. This emerges from the final result, which the state election committee determined.
The razor-thin lead could mean that Prime Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD), who has been in office since December 2021, can remain in City Hall if the previous coalition of SPD, Greens and Left continues. Because the SPD would be the strongest party in this constellation - even if only with a lead of 53 votes.
But there are other options for forming a government. CDU election winner Kai Wegner wants to form a coalition with the SPD or the Greens. It is still unclear who will enter into coalition negotiations with whom.
Since February 17, the parties have been exploring in various formats whether there is a basis for coalition negotiations and a joint government. SPD, Greens and Left concluded their exploratory talks without revealing concrete results for the continuation of their coalition. However, they commented positively on critical points such as the expropriation of housing companies.
The Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey said: "A way has been worked out that from our point of view can be a viable way." For the time being, however, the matter will be treated confidentially. On Wednesday, the SPD state executive will deal with the coalition issue.
"Good solutions found"
The Greens, who will finally meet again with the CDU on Tuesday, were cautiously optimistic on many issues. Greens top candidate Bettina Jarasch said: "We have clarified open questions in all these areas and also found good solutions." She emphasized: "We would not go into a coalition in which there are open predetermined breaking points." The exploratory team will decide this week whether to form a coalition with the SPD and the left or with the CDU.
Linke state chairwoman Katina Schubert said the contentious issue of the expropriation referendum played a role. "It wasn't as long as we thought. (...) There could be a path." Eleven left-wing district chairmen have now called for a law on the expropriation of housing groups by mid-2024. The topic should serve as a "guideline" for possible coalition negotiations. The referendum on the expropriation of large housing companies is considered a hurdle: the left supported the project from the start, and Giffey repeatedly expressed doubts. The Greens are more for it.
FDP not in parliament
According to the final result, the CDU clearly won the election on February 12 with 28.2 percent. SPD and Greens each got 18.4 percent. The left came to 12.2 percent in the election, the AfD to 9.1 percent. The FDP missed the re-entry into parliament with 4.6 percent.
This did not change anything in terms of the vote shares of the parties and the allocation of seats provisionally determined shortly after the election. The new state parliament has 159 members. The CDU has 52 seats, the SPD and the Greens each have 34 seats. The Left has 22 seats and the AfD has 17 seats. Voter turnout was corrected from originally 63.0 to 62.9 percent.
The Berlin Constitutional Court declared the election to the House of Representatives on September 26, 2021 invalid due to "severe systemic deficiencies" and numerous electoral errors.
Minimal SPD lead has no influence on government formation
According to the preliminary result of this new vote, the SPD had a mini lead over the Greens by 105 votes - with around 279,000 second votes for both parties. Even this narrow gap had fueled speculation that the Greens could still get ahead of the Social Democrats as a result of the usual post-election results review and partial recounts. But that is not the case now. The SPD's shrunken lead has no impact on the ongoing formation of a government, said Greens' top candidate Bettina Jarasch.
The state election committee also dealt with a very narrow first vote result in a constituency in the district of Lichtenberg. However, he mostly rejected a recount demanded by left-wing representatives. It remains there with the victory of the CDU direct candidate Dennis Haustein with ten votes ahead of the next-placed left candidate Claudia Engelmann.