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Harald Schoen

Although governing coalitions in Germany often win reelection,

many observers were surprised by the victory of the red-green coalition

in 2002. Earlier that year, the polls had shown strong support

for a potential coalition of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)

and the Christian Social Union (CSU), together with the Free Democratic

Party (FDP). In the summer of 2002, however, the SPD and

the Greens began to gain ground; and finally, the red-green coalition

won the majority of seats in the election to the German parliament,

the Bundestag, on 22 September 2002.