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The SPD and the 2021 Federal Election

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The 2021 German Federal Election


This chapter outlines the background to the SPD’s remarkable election success in 2021, in spite of being in third place in opinion polls just months before polling day. It illustrates how the Covid-19 pandemic shifted the party’s fiscal policy in a way which led to greater internal cohesion as well as boosting its popularity; how the election of two left-wing party leaders ended up being to the benefit of the centrist Chancellor Candidate, Olaf Scholz, and how the party profited from weak opponents. However, it also points to the difficulties the party had  in its first year in office, largely caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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We are grateful to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for funding our research project on the SPD between 2019 and 2021.

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Correspondence to Ed Turner .

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Turner, E., Vampa, D., Scantamburlo, M. (2023). The SPD and the 2021 Federal Election. In: Campbell, R., Davidson-Schmich, L.K. (eds) The 2021 German Federal Election. New Perspectives in German Political Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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