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Live blog: 2021 Germany elections

Welcome to the Europe Elects live blog for Germany’s national parliament and regional elections.

After 16 years of Angela Merkel’s reign, voters in Germany will today decide who will govern the country in the next legislative period. Polls suggest that the Social Democrats (SPD-S&D) and the centre-right CDU/CSU (EPP) will engage in an epic battle around spot #1. CDU/CSU is, however, almost certainly plummeting to a new record low. The question is: how low can they go? And then there are the post-election government coalition kingmakers – GRÜNE (Greens/EFA) and the liberal FDP (RE) who are trying to get a result as high up in the 10s as possible. The anti-system party, the right-wing AfD (ID), is struggling to keep its position and might even drop below 10%. Then, there is LINKE (LEFT) which is stemming itself against an almost unstoppable downward spiral towards the 5%-threshold, which is necessary to enter parliament. And will the centrist Freie Wähler (RE) mic-drop into parliament for the first time?

Record turnout figures from across the country promise an exciting race!