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Compared to elsewhere in Europe, the electoral scene in Germany is the least altered by recent developments. The two major parties, the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD), predominate and could end up forming another Grand Coalition after the Bundestag election that will take place on September 24. However, amid this overall stability there are elements of uncertainty. These elements can be seen in recent Landtag (provincial parliament) elections which, more than provincial elections in Canada, reflect wider political developments; in the prospects of the new populist party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD),1 which failed to break through the 5 per cent threshold in the 2013 Bundestag election but has done so in all Land elections since then, gaining representation in 10 out of 16 Land parliaments; and finally, in the possibility of Russian interference.

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