In the running
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer Age: 56
Personal life, education: From a Catholic family and married with three sons. Master’s degree in political science.
Occupation: General Secretary of the CDU since 2018.
Relevant experience: Chief Minister of Saarland from 2011 to 2018. Strength: Seasoned politician. Weakness: Needs to shake the “mini Merkel” tag.
Bookies’ odds: 8/11 favourite. Friedrich Merz Age: 63 Personal life, education: Married with three children. Moved into corporate law after graduation.
Occupation: Millionaire judge and corporate lawyer. Serves on 15 boards. Relevant experience: Leader of CDU’s parliamentary group from 2000-2002.
Strength: A compelling orator. Weakness: Short of political match fitness. Bookies’ odds: 5/4 second
favourite. Jens Spahn Age: 38 Personal life, education: Married journalist Daniel Funke in 2017. Master’s degree in political science. Occupation: Health Minister.
Relevant experience: Entered Bundestag at 22.
Strength: A critic of Merkel’s immigration policies.
Weakness: His youth. Bookies’ odds: 40/1 outsider.