As Germany’s elections inch closer, one TV channel has jumped the gun by displaying vote projections on a news ticker days before the poll. Drawing concern and mockery, the broadcaster apologized for the false start.
German broadcaster ARD’s Das Erste (‘The First’) television network gave its viewers an unlikely glimpse into the future on Friday, having shown projected results of the historic election that has not yet taken place.
While Germans are only gearing up to elect a new parliament on Sunday, the channel ran a ticker across the bottom of the screen showing the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) narrowly beating the conservative alliance of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU). The two main rivals for the seats in the German parliament, the Bundestag, received 22.7% of the vote and 22.1% respectively.
— Georg Pazderski (@Georg_Pazderski) September 24, 2021
The liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) came third with 13.2% and, if one is to believe ARD’s soothsayers, was on course to replace the anti-establishment Alternative For Germany (AfD) as the third-largest party in the Bundestag. AfD came up short of its 2017 result in the projection, clinching 10.5%. After showing the Left (Die Linke) getting around 5% of the vote, the ticker vanished, without displaying numbers for the Greens as the channel apparently caught on to its blunder.
The ticker appeared during a popular quiz show, and attracted the attention of online observers and lawmakers alike.