Will the SPD Youth Overthrow the GroKo?

Signals suggest the German young socialists' push to block Angela Merkel's grand coalition is falling flat.


In Germany, the SPD's 464,000 party members are voting by postal ballot on whether to approve a four-year “grand coalition” (nicknamed the "GroKo") with Angela Merkel's CDU. The result, which will be announced March 4, may hinge on the turnout of the SPD's youth wing, the “Jusos”. The young left-wing socialists have been extremely vocal in their ambition to thwart another coalition government with the center-right Christian Democrats.

Yet Predata's signal that captures the volume and resonance of the SPD youth online shows that the Jusos are failing to get their message out to the same degree as in the lead-up to the beginning of the coalition negotiations.


In addition, Germans are paying less attention to other European left-wing movements that have disrupted national politics. The chart below shows a signal that reflects interest in German-language web pages for Podemos in Spain, Momentum in the UK, and La France Insoumise, Jean-Luc Melanchon's populist opposition to Emmanuel Macron's centrist government. The idea is that if Germans expected a left-wing fringe movement to emerge as a consequential force, they would research like cases from around Europe. The trajectory of the signal tells a similar story as that for the SPD youth wing's digital campaign. After peaking on January 25, the signal has plummeted, potentially indicating that Germans are paying less attention to the Jusos and the possibility that the young socialists will derail another grand coalition.