German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s Social Democrats will remain in power by a narrow majority, thanks to a strong showing by his coalition partner, the Green Party. Commentators agree that the most remarkable achievement of the tight parliamentary elections belonged to Joschka Fischer, foreign minister and leader of the Greens. Despite the small size of the Green Party, Fischer consistently ranks as Germany’s most popular politician in the polls; in this election, he campaigned fiercely to preserve the coalition with the Social Democrats. Thanks to his tireless efforts, the Greens had a record 8.6 percent showing at the voting booths, cementing the alliance with Schroeder and making them the nation’s third-largest party. Together, the Social Democrats and the Greens will hold 306 parliamentary seats, giving them a narrow edge over the conservatives and the Free Democrats.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.