Speed Reads

what's next for germany

Germany's next governing coalition could be determined by 3rd- and 4th-place parties

First place isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Germany's Social Democratic Party pulled out a close victory on Sunday, finishing just ahead of the conservative Christian Democratic Union-Christian Social union in the country's parliamentary elections. The party was far short of a majority, but the win puts them in a good position to head up the country's next governing coalition in the post-Angela Merkel era. That is, unless they're upended in their quest by the election's third- and fourth-place finishers.

The left-leaning Green Party and the pro-business, liberal Free Democrats are both primed for a "kingmaker" a role, and they seem well-aware of it. "We have been given a clear mandate by the voters to ensure a new beginning in our country," said the Green's co-leader, Annalena Baerbock, per the Financial Times.

FT reports that both parties have agreed that, despite their political differences, they're going to confer before making any deals with the other parties because. "Neither the CDU/CSU nor the SPD stand for a new start," said Christian Linder, the leader of the FDP. "That is why it makes sense that our two parties speak to each other first." Read more at the Financial Times.