Christian Wulff failed to win an outright majority in the first vote, despite the Merkel governing coalition having the votes. Wulff had 600 votes to the SPD candidate Gauck's 499 votes, the Left party's Jochimsen had 126 votes, and NPD candidate Rennicke had 3 votes.
Now there will be a second vote, and possible a third.
German Presidency Vote Goes to Second Round in Berlin Today
Wulff verpasst absolute Mehrheit im ersten Durchgang
Update: Wulff has failed to win in the second round. This will be only the third time an election has gone to the third ballot, 1969 and 1994 the previous two instances.
Wulff's vote total increased to 615, 8 votes shy of an absolute majority. The SPD candidate Gauck fell 9 votes to 490. A combination of SPD with Left Party results in a total of 613.
Note that these votes are secret ballot, we don't know who is defecting from the governing coalition, which has 644 votes total, enough for an absolute majority if they vote together. Now, in this third and final ballot, an absolute majority is not necessary to win.
Update: The Left party candidate Jochimsen has dropped out before the third round of voting.
Update: Wulff wins with 625 votes, enough for an absolute majority had he received the votes in the first or second round.
Merkel has been sent a message, loud and clear.
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