Angela Merkel won a landslide personal victory in Germany's general election on Sunday (September 22), but her conservatives appeared just short of the votes needed to rule on their own and may have to convince leftist rivals to join a coalition government.
The preliminary final results of the German federal election as released by the Federal Returning Office was 41.5 percent for the Merkel's conservative bloc of CDU/CSU, 25.7 percent for the Social democrats (SPD), 8.6 percent for the Left party and 8.4 percent for the Greens, while the Free Democrats (FDP) with 4.8 percent and the AfD (Alternative for Germany) with 4.7 percent did not make the cut for the German Bundestag.
There was bitter disappointment for Merkel's allies in the outgoing government, the market-friendly (FDP), who suffered a humiliating exit from the Bundestag, the first time they will be absent from the chamber in the post-war era.
The AfD, a new eurosceptic party that had threatened to spoil Merkel's victory by breaking into parliament for the first time, appeared to have come up just short of the 5 percent threshold required to win seats.
The young movement's hostility to euro zone bailouts and call to cut weaker southern members loose from the currency area resonated with many crisis-weary voters and may act as a brake on Merkel's conduct of European policy.
The radical Left party was set to be the third biggest force, just ahead of the environmentalist Greens, who shed votes to finish below 9 percent.
Presented by Adam Justice