German election live: Social Democrats edge ahead in chancellor race as CDU plunges to historic low

Latest updates as SPD and CDU battle it out to become largest party in the Bundestag

The CSU, the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, has experienced its worst result since the first Bundestag election in 1949, the Tagesspiegel newspaper is reporting, having won just 31.7 % according to preliminary results.

While CSU boss Markus Soeder said he was “not pleased” about it, he did find a silver-lining, noting that “it’s still significantly higher than the country-wide [CDU] result”.

The latest results suggest that the left-wing Die Linke party will still be represented in the Bundestag despite failing the country’s 5% hurdle to enter parliament.

That’s down to a loophole in election law which means that if a party secures three seats via a “direct mandate” – Germans cast two votes, one for the person they want to represent their constituency, the direct mandate, and one for a party list – the hurdle no longer applies.

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