Germany is the most populous country in the European Union, and thus elects 99 MEPs (both in 2004 and 2009). These 99 MEPs are elected from a single multi-member constituency covering the whole of Germany, with a 5% threshold.
The 2004 election saw a massive defeat for the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD – Party of European Socialists). While the 1999 election saw a win for the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU – European People’s Party), winning 39% to the SPD’s 30%, the 2004 election saw a bigger swing, with 44.5% for the CDU and its ally the CSU, and 21.5% for the SPD.
The 2004 result saw the following result:
- Christian Democratic Union – 40
- Social Democratic Party – 23
- The Greens (European Greens) – 13
- Christian Social Union (European People’s Party) – 9
- Party of Democratic Socialism (Party of the European Left) – 7
- Free Democratic Party (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – 7
Since that election, the Party of Democratic Socialism merged with an SPD splinter to form the Left Party. Recent polls have indicated that the SPD has recovered from the lows of 2004, and have reduced the CDU/CSU to below 40% of the vote, although the gap is still at least 10%. The Greens are clearly leading amongst the minor parties, polling 12-13%, up slightly from 11.9% in 2004. The Free Democratic Party is up from 6% to 10%, while the Left is sitting on 8%, up from 6% for the PDS in 2004.