Angela Merkel governed Germany at a time of major global political crises. The collapse of the financial markets, the euro-related turbulence, the Ukraine conflict, the refugee debate and the Covid-19 pandemic, plus the ongoing climate crisis: just one of these challenges on its own would have been enough for an entire chancellorship.
What happens after the polling stations close at 6 pm on Election Day? At exactly 6 pm the first election result projections are published. These are based on surveys of voters as they leave the polling stations. Soon after this, the first far more precise projections are made. These are based on the votes counted at relatively few (but more representative) polling stations. No forecasts or projections are permitted before 6 pm.
Mr Merz, according to the surveys, the run-up to a federal election has rarely been so exciting. How reliable are such results? Many online surveys, such as those run by internet news portals, are not particularly representative of the whole population. But the surveys commissioned by the large radio and television broadcasting companies are. These polls are based on scientific rules and empirical social research methods, so that the results can be projected onto the entire population.
The young politician says that the election campaign was different in many respects from what she had expected. To begin with, there was the Covid-19 pandemic. Then her home area in North Rhine-Westphalia was hit by the flood disaster in July. She concludes that, as a result, the federal election is all the more important now, “because it all depends on how we deal with such situations in the future”.
Pia Dietz says she has noticed over the past few weeks that the parties are spending far more time putting each other down rather than emphasizing their own strengths. “And that’s a pity,” she says. “The competition this year is especially fierce.” And she says she is surprised to see that the survey results have developed so differently from how she had imagined at first.
Angela Merkel is generally seen as a very level-headed politician. The following quotes from her years as German chancellor reflect her serious side, but are often coupled with her subtle sense of humour.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), in Germany there are currently 159.000 people infected with the coronavirus. 4.114.476 people have tested to be infected during the corona pandemic in Germany, (as of September 16th). According to the RKI, a total of 55.595.233 people were vaccinated (as of September 16th).
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