The centre-left coalition government led by chancellor Helmut Schmidt suffered a major cut in its majority in the West German general elections on Sunday.
GV West German voters entering polling station during general election voting (4 shots)
GV INTERIOR Television studio
CU Christian Democrat leader, Dr. Helmut Kohl, mobbed by supporters and surrounded by newsmen
GV Social Democrat leader, Helmut Schmidt, enters room
GV Former Social Democrat Chancellor, Willy Brandt, mobbed by supporters and surrounded by newsmen & photographers
CU Schmidt trying to eat and answer questions
REPORTER: "Is this a good enough victory for you?"
SCHMIDT: "It's good enough - yes."
REPORTER: "Do you think that you will last out the four years?"
REPORTER: "No problems about the coalition breaking up?"
REPORTER: "Are you certain?"
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Background: The centre-left coalition government led by chancellor Helmut Schmidt suffered a major cut in its majority in the West German general elections on Sunday.
SYNOPSIS: Support for both the ruling parties slumped in the election. The senior partner, the Social Democrats, and the minority Free Democrats now have 252 seats -- a majority of eight. In the last parliament their majority was 46. The opposition right-of-centre Christian Democrats emerged from the election was the biggest single party with 244 seats.
Before the results were announced there were indications that the coalition would only win a narrow majority. One television computer analysis of voting returns forecast the exact result. With the election results announced, the Christian Democrat opposition leader, Dr. Helmut Kohl, was mobbed by supporters. He said that his part had scored a moral victory over the coalition. And Dr. Kohl demanded that he should have the first chance to form a government.
Chancellor Schmidt dismissed the suggestion -- and another from the opposition that the coalition would find it impossible to rule for another four years with such a small majority. The coalition could survive its term, he said.