German Election Results: Disappointing Victory For Angela Merkel

September 25, 2017

With all 299 constituencies reporting, Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party the CSU came out ahead in Germany's national election on Sunday, with 33 percent of the vote. Rival Social Democrats (SPD) led by Martin Schulz tumbled to a mere 20.5 percent, while the Green and Left parties remained about the same as they did in 2013, each with 8.9 and 9.2 percent, respectively.

The only real success stories of the night were for the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). After failing to make the 5-percent hurdle to enter the Bundestag last time around, the FDP managed a 10.7 percent to cement its comeback.  Read more: How the far-right AfD changes German politics

As for the populist AfD, a remarkable showing of 12.6 percent means that Germany will have a far-right party in parliament for the first time in more than half a century. Follow the night's events as they unfolded in our live ticker. Although these results mean the CDU will remain Germany's largest party, it still represents a substantial loss for the conservatives, who managed 41.5 percent in 2013. With a three-way coalition looking to be the likely solution to avoid a minority government, Merkel is about to begin a far less stable administration than in her past three terms.

"We had hoped for a better result," Merkel told a clapping but subdued crowd at party headquarters in Berlin. Later, she spoke of the "tough weeks ahead," for the CDU, and promised to recover votes lost to the AfD — the closest she came to mentioning the slide of the CDU toward the center of the political spectrum under her leadership.  Merkel said she was "confident," however, that Germany would have a new government by Christmas.


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