Support for the SPD initially increased but CDU has since regained its lead with polls generally showing a 13 - 16 % lead over the SPD.
In May 2017 the SPD lost control of the major state of North Rhine-Westphalia in a state election.
The Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), led by Angela Merkel, has maintained a double-digit lead over the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in opinion polling since the 2013 election, aside from a period in early 2017 following the selection of Martin Schulz as SPD leader.
At the previous federal election, in 2013, the incumbent government—composed of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union (CSU, the CDU's Bavarian sister party), and the Free Democratic Party (FDP)—failed to achieve a majority of seats.
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The CDU/CSU successfully negotiated with the Social Democrats (SPD) to form a grand coalition for the third time.
In March 2017, the SPD chose Martin Schulz, the former President of the European Parliament, as their leader and chancellor candidate.
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When local standard time was about to reach Sunday, 26 March 2017, clocks were turned forward 1 hour to Sunday, 26 March 2017, local daylight time instead.
Sunrise and sunset were about 1 hour later on than the day before. Also called Spring Forward, Summer Time, and Daylight Savings Time.
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