The result of today’s parliamentary election in Germany marks a significant political shift, and not just because the liberal/libertarian party FDP failed to gain seats for the first time in its history. The chart in the link below shows the results of Germany’s parliamentary elections since World War II. At every election between 1949 and 1990, generally right-wing parties (CDU, CSU, FDP and others) together won more than 50% of the vote. Then came Germany’s reunification, which spilled in many left-wing voters from formerly socialist East Germany. In each election after 1990, the right failed to reach 50% (although it still managed to form CDU-FDP coalition governments in 1994 and 2009). There was reason to believe that reunification had shifted the composition of the electorate permanently to the left. But in today’s election, right-wing parties – CDU/CSU, FDP and the newly formed AfD – won around 52% of the votes, according to preliminary results. Only time will tell if this result is an exception, or if it indicates a more permanent shift of the electorate back to the right.