The first exit polls are in and the numbers suggest Angela Merkel has won the election and a fourth consecutive term as Chancellor of Germany. Her CDU party won the most votes, with 32.7% of the popular vote, giving them 217 seats in the Bundestag.
The Social Democrats are the second largest party, with 20.2% of the vote, giving them 134 seats. Both the two major parties have lost a large proportion of their previously held seats, with Merkel’s CDU losing up to 90.
This is in no small part down to the rise of AfD and the resurgent FDP, who have won 89 and 70 seats respectively.
Alternative für Deutschland have made their mark, with their result particularly impressive given they had previously held no seats in the Bundestag. With 13.5% of the vote and 94 seats, they’ve done better than most liberal pundits believed possible.
The question now is with whom shall Frau Merkel form a government? It’s rumoured that her preferred option is a coalition with the FPD and the Green Party, an alliance that would hold 349 seats, more than enough to form a majority government.
It’s rumoured that this break from the “grand alliance” of the last parliament is tactical in order to prevent AfD from holding official opposition statement.
However, with almost as many members as the SPD, Alternative für Deutschland will have a strong platform from which they can start standing up for the ordinary German folk.