Marie-José Jacobs, in her role as RTL’s election consultant, summed it up: “The CSV’s return to business is a foregone conclusion.”
And with them?
It won’t be the ADR, déi Lénk or the Pirates.
Neither, more surprisingly, will it be déi Gréng. , fatalistic and stunned by her defeat, is preparing for her party to return to the opposition benches. Her aim is to ensure that the future government does not ignore environmental imperatives, as her colleague strongly suspects they might.
The Pirates are also preparing for another five years in opposition, although they picked up a seat (from two to three). has already announced that that his party will contribute even more questions (stipulating that they will remain “constructive”) and, its voice amplified, exercise greater control.
Déi Lénk, for its part, is relieved to have kept its two seats. , the candidate elected in the south, regrets that Luxembourg’s political spectrum is becoming more right-wing, and called for vigilance.
That leaves the LSAP and the DP as potential coalition partners.
LSAP ready to take part
(LSAP) made the same observation as déi Lénk’s Baum: the country, like many others in Europe, is moving to the right. Not to a point where ADR can be part of a coalition government, however, as acknowledged by (ADR). Keup is nevertheless looking ahead, with hope, five or ten years down the line. On the coalition due to form now, he commented: “The die has been cast: two parties are currently negotiating a coalition agreement.” He did not specify which two parties.
(CSV) has already made contact with the LSAP’s Lenert. “But we haven’t talked about a coalition,” she said. Disappointed that the “Gambia” coalition of the last ten years cannot hold, Lenert says she is ready to take part in a government with the CSV. She believes that the differences that emerged during the campaign on key issues--the general reduction in working hours and the increase in taxes, including the reintroduction of personal income tax--won’t stand in the way of a governing agreement.
The most likely option: DP-CSV
Best placed to govern with the CSV, however, is the DP. The party is the big winner of the elections in terms of number of seats, having picked up two for a total of 14 (its most since 1999 when it won 15). It is furthermore the only party of the ten-year coalition to emerge, now, with greater responsibility than when it joined. All of this makes (DP) a “fulfilled” liberal. “The voters want the DP in government,” he said on Sunday night.
Voter choice is also Frieden’s argument. Says the CSV candidate, “the red-blue-green coalition is dead” and, more importantly, voters “want change--with the CSV to lead a new policy.”
For many representatives of the business community present at last night’s election evening at RTL, a road paved for a DP-CSV coalition was the best possible outcome. The watchword for many was “anything but déi Gréng.”
Despite being the most powerful mathematically, a black-blue coalition would not necessarily be easy to implement. This is less down to the parties’ economic programmes, but rather to the governing personalties involved and, to a lesser extent, their views on societal issues.
The next prime minister
The big question is: who will be the country’s next prime minister? In a two-party coalition, traditionally it would be the head of the leading party, i.e. the CSV’s Frieden.
Given this election climate, however, things are more complicated. True, the CSV came out on top, maintaining its 21 members of parliament. But the party of the outgoing prime minister gained more MPs (two) than anybody else and, put simply, Bettel is more popular than Frieden. He received 34,018 votes yesterday compared to Frieden’s 30,999 and, of the two, is the preferable option for left-wing citizens.
Beyond the top job, distributing the rest of the ministerial seats won’t be easy either: the bigger CSV names have been in opposition and local roles for the past ten years and will be champing at the bit.
Monday 9 October will be an important day: Bettel presents his government’s to the grand duke as the process for choosing the next government begins.
This article in Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.