Polls and pundits agree that Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union will emerge from Germany's election Sunday with the most votes. The question is how, and even whether, she'll be able to govern.
Merkel, whose lead in the polls has shrunk by 50 percent since she began campaigning against Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in May, may not win a parliamentary majority with her preferred coalition partner, the Free Democrats. The CDU may have to team up with Schroeder's Social Democratic Party instead, according to Bloomberg.
Germany's three largest business lobbies oppose such a "grand coalition," saying it would create a monster unable to produce tax cuts and lower labor costs to revive the economy.
"Between bad medicine and deadlock, anything seems possible after Sunday," says Ulrich von Alemann, a politics professor at the University of Dusseldorf.
Voters don't share the concerns over a grand coalition. While a July 19 poll by Allensbach found that only 16 percent of decision-makers in business, politics and the civil service favored such an outcome, a Forsa poll published Aug. 10 found 34 percent of voters wanted such a government, more than any other possible combination.