With a vote share of just 20.5 percent, the Social Democrats’ (spd) 2017 Bundestag election result was a disaster. Despite initially deciding not to continue the Grand Coalition (GroKo), when negotiations on forming a Jamaica coalition failed, the Social Democrats found themselves back in coalition talks they never wanted. Although a strong minority of party members remained opposed, in the end the coalition agreement proved to be the best strategic alternative and is a Social Democratic success, especially concerning the level of social expenditures. In light of the election outcome, the success of the new GroKo is highly important for the coalition parties, as well as for Germany and its people.
Andreas M. Wüst received his PhD in 2002 from University of Heidelberg. He is currently External Lecturer at the University of Stuttgart and External Fellow at the Mannheim Center for European Social Research. His research focus is political sociology. Recent publications include: “Incorporation beyond Cleavages? Parties, Candidates and Germany’s Immigrant-Origin Electorate,“ German Politics 25, no. 3 (2016): 414–432; “Der migrationsspezifische Einfluss auf parlamentarisches Handeln: Ein Hypothesentest auf der Grundlage von Redebeiträgen des Abgeordneten des Deutschen Bundestags 1996–2013,” Politische Vierteljahresschrift 58, no. 2 (2017): 205–233 (with Andreas Blätte). E-mail: migrant@rumms. uni-mannheim.de