The two main rivals in Germany's federal polls this year are the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right Christian Democrats Union of Germany (CDU) and their allies are defending a majority of 40 in the current 620-seat assembly. In the last federal election in 2009, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU); won the election with Angela Merkel as Chancellor. Opinion polls suggest Merkel is the favourite to win a third term as leader in the federal elections.
Peer Steinbrück is a German Social Democratic politician. He is the SPD candidate for Chancellor of Germany in the 2013 federal election.