That might not be what Mr. Seehofer has in thoughts, although. In latest years he has been constructing a relationship with Europe’s different rising right-wing leaders, particularly President Viktor Orban of Hungary, and reversing the C.S.U.’s historically sturdy dedication to the European Union.
And, foreshadowing a attainable alliance with the Alternative for Germany, Mr. Seehofer has been reaching out to Austria’s chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, who governs in a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party. Tellingly, Mr. Kurz made appearances at C.S.U. marketing campaign occasions final 12 months, whereas Ms. Merkel was nowhere to be seen. Last month Mr. Kurz met with Bavaria’s premier, Markus Söder, a member of the C.S.U., to debate cooperating on border restrictions.
In the quick time period, none of this bodes nicely for Ms. Merkel. Should Mr. Seehofer and his occasion go away the coalition, she may nonetheless govern at the head of a fragile minority authorities, or attempt to discover one other occasion to align with. But the Greens, who agree along with her on refugee coverage, have already stated they’d not be a part of a coalition along with her, and the Free Democrats, a frequent junior accomplice to the Christian Democrats, could also be too far to the proper on immigration for her.
The solely different choice can be snap elections. Ms. Merkel, although personally fashionable, is seen as a weakening late-career chief, and her occasion would definitely lose extra assist in a brand new vote. Her greatest hope, then, can be to be buoyed by a strengthened center-left, below her different governing companions, the Social Democrats. Should the Greens change their minds — as a number of in that occasion have argued they need to — Germany may nicely discover itself led by a lady who has spent her whole political profession on the proper however now heads a coalition of left-leaning events and, free of the C.S.U., probably advancing center-left insurance policies. It would imply that, in sensible phrases, the Christian Democrats had ceased to be a center-right occasion.
Most Germans would most likely be O.Ok. with this — the nation is, by and huge, center-left in its political sentiments. But the collapse of the center-right coalition can be prone to push the C.S.U. and the Alternative for Germany nearer collectively, and even perhaps additional to the proper. The consequence of this new political alignment — a center-left institution towards an impassioned, rising populist proper — stays to be seen. But given how nicely the far proper has carried out in comparable preparations in different elements of Europe, it’s a prospect that nobody ought to contemplate with out some trepidation.