Or rather analysis of a German election...
In this past weekend's election in Germany (wikipedia has a nice results table here), the CDU-CSU lost fewer seats than the SPD and the FDP gained more seats than the Greens and The Left. This means that the next government will have the same Chancellor, Angela Merkel, but will have a much different overall composition. Where as most of the ministers in the outgoing government were from the SPD, this new coalition will be mostly made up of CDU-CSU ministers with a strong dose of FDP representation.
What does that add up to? Well, the Merkel has been rather publicly calling for re-regulation of financial markets as a response to the recession. My guess is that the FDP (a party known for its strong neo-classical liberal ideology) will resist that. Merkel also sought to make the war on terror a campaign issue. There again, the FDP may prove a less cooperative partner than anticipated. The FDP is staunchly libertarian in its ideology. I have a hard time seeing the FDP going along with re-regulation of financial markets or a more aggressive stance on the "war on terror" stuff.
Why did this result come about? Two reasons leap to mind. First and most importantly, whenever there has been a grand coalition (CDU-CSU and SPD) the smaller parties have gained at the expense of the bigger parties. That has certainly happened here. Both the CDU-CSU and SPD lost seats. Second, the left got creamed in the middle of a recession and an atmosphere of widespread criticism of capitalism. The FDP (the most pro-capitalist, anti-regulation party in Germany) won their biggest vote share and seat share in their history. But is this result really a rejection of Social Democracy? Maybe. But I think it is really a surge in voting based on nostalgia for the Wirtschaftswunder of the 1950s and the relative prosperity of 60s which was orchestrated by a series of CDU-CSU/FDP coalitions. Germans may associate the FDP with competent economic management because of that and the FDP have been out of government for a very long time. Germans, especially Western Germans, may want them to come in an reestablish the glory days.
AMENDMENT: The CDU/CSU did not lose seats. They did lose vote share but because of the nature of the German electoral system and rules governing the proportionality of the Bundestag, the CDU/CSU actually gained seats despite winning a lower percentage of the vote.