Betting on Germany’s Next Chancellor – Why Markus Soder Is the Favorite
Voting is expected to begin in the next German federal election for Angela Merkel’s replacement as Chancellor of Germany at some point between August and October of 2021.
In October 2018, Merkel confirmed that she would be stepping down as chancellor at the end of her term, having held the position since November 2005 in four consecutive terms. She also confirmed that she would not be running for the position of the head of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), which she has held since 2000.
The CDU had suffered a series of setbacks in recent years that challenged the strength of the party.
In February 2020, CDU head Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced that she would be relinquishing party leadership and will not challenge for the office of chancellor. It now appears that Germany is ready for a new political era — one which will move on from Merkel and her party.
With the top political betting sites offering a list of Germany’s next chancellor betting odds, I thought it would be good to take an early look at the frontrunners for the role. At this point, there is a lot of political terrain to navigate before a successor to Merkel can be appointed, but one of the six men below is highly likely to be named as the next Chancellor of Germany.
Next Chancellor of Germany Odds
The odds below come courtesy of the Betway sportsbook and are subject to change. I have picked out the top six candidates from a full list of names available at the site.
If you’re wondering who will be the next Chancellor of Germany, I would say that it is a safe bet it will be one of the men on the list.
Let’s take a look at all six of the top candidates, five of which are conservative-minded politicians.
Markus Soder +200
Markus Soder is a straight-talking, no-nonsense Bavarian who has gained nationwide acclaim for his response to crisis management in the wake of the 2020 global health crisis.
It seems that the CSU’s Soder can do no wrong in the eyes of his supporters. This is a guy who has obtained a 94% approval rating as the Governor of Bavaria, despite making it clear that Oktoberfest might be canceled. That is the highest percentage ever obtained by a German politician. Let that sink in.
It hasn’t taken Soder long to establish himself as the frontrunner for the office of chancellor, even if he has previously stated that he is not interested in the job. The 53-year old’s ascension to the top of the Christian Social Union (CSU) pile took just two years to achieve. And now, in the matter of just months, he is Germany’s most popular politician, bar none.
Soder’s hands-on, paternal approach has gone down very well in a nation rocked with concerns about the current state of the world. Having expressed pro-environmental tendencies prior to the crisis, Germany clearly sees his intentions as genuine.
But is Soder experienced enough to take the helm as Chancellor of Germany, the highest position in both the country and the EU?
Friedrich Merz +250
It seemed for a while that Friedrich Merz was the obvious candidate to replace Merkel.
That was until he was hospitalized, was out of the picture for a few weeks, and then failed to win the popularity of many of those vying for the job. In certain respects, Merz’s popularity has waned a little. His slump almost represents the antithesis to Soder’s vogue in recent months.
But to suggest that Merz is out of the running is ridiculous. As you can see, he is currently the second favorite to become the next chancellor. This is no surprise given that he holds advantages over the rest of the pack in certain departments.
Merz was ousted from the position as the whip of the CDU in 2002 before opting to move into business in 2009. At one time, he was a well-known and respected face in German politics but made millions as BlackRock Germany’s head before finding his way back as a star of the party.
Merz is popular with both business leaders and the public. His support of the idea to give half of Germany’s €50bn budget surplus back to the people in the form of a gigantic tax cut certainly caught the attention of many.
Merz’s desire to appeal to the conservative voter with clear language, support for business, and radical tax cuts appears to be the way to win back the hearts of almost one million Germans who have jumped ship to the nationalist Alternative for Germany party.
The east of the country has seen the majority of defectors, and Merz’s plans just might give them something to think about. Having referred to Merkel’s government as “unsustainable” and “abysmal” last year, he might have the ears of the portion of the electorate dissatisfied with the incumbent chancellor.
Armin Laschet +300
Armin Laschet is the prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, which is the most densely populated state in Germany.
Merz was seen as the frontrunner for the leadership of the CDU prior to the lockdown but will have to wait until the leadership election for 2020 — initially scheduled for April 25, 2020 — to be run at a later date.
There is every reason to believe that Laschet could take over from Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, and this undoubtedly would strengthen his position when it comes to deciding who takes over from Merkel. Having set out his cart to challenge for the CDU leadership, many saw the battle for that title coming down to a duel between him and Friedrich Merz.
Laschet is a believer in recognizing the policies of Merkel, which he sees as a success, for the most part. But he has also been critical of Merkel’s policies on things like immigration, calling for the need to break into a fresh start.
Laschet’s proclivity for levity has earned him supporters and critics alike. But he, like Merkel, is a centrist first and foremost. Some see Laschet as the man to further Merkel’s policies and maintain on a moderate-left course, which will likely gain approval from the left wing Social Democratic Party (SPD), who are coalition partners of Merkel’s government.
The Other Big Candidates
Could Germany (and the world) have their first-ever green head of state in Robert Habeck? Harbeck’s odds to become the next German chancellor are +350, which puts him in the mix with the likes of Soder, Merz, and Laschet.
Habeck is a very popular figure, seen as something akin to Germany’s answer to French leader Emmanuel Macron. The pragmatic and direct approach of the 50-year-old Habeck means that he has a decent chance of upsetting the apple cart.
Jens Spahn (+600) is the current Federal Minister of Health in Germany and a potential candidate for the role of chancellor. But at 39, some see Spahn as a little too young to take over the reins from the long-serving Merkel.
Spahn is both married to a man and a practicing Roman Catholic, which could help his chances of securing the support of a wider pool of voters. While in with a big chance, Spahn’s age might work against him here.
And the last of the big six is Norbert Roettgen (+1000), the former environment minister who was the first to put his hat in the ring for the role of chancellor.
Roettgen has a mass appeal due to his experience in politics, conservative views, and his general likability. Now the chairman of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, Roettgen has expressed support for more action on the environment.
Who Will Be Germany’s Next Chancellor?
You can get your bets on who you think will be the next Chancellor of Germany right now, or you could wait until things start to look a little clearer.
Now, I’m not quite ready to offer my prediction on who will win the contest. I think there are some really unprecedented times that we must get through before the right candidate presents themselves. That said, if you’re brave enough, you could get some good odds on a couple of the guys above.
If you’re looking for more opportunities to bet on politics, the sites below are well worth a shot. Check them out and see what catches your eye!