German Election Results Merkel Re-Elected as Right Wing Enters Parliament

 

Angela Merkel appears to have won her fourth term as German chancellor, but her coalition partners for the last four years, the Social Democrats, have likely received their worst result since World War II. The right-wing populist AfD has secured more than 13 percent of the vote.

Supporter of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats react as the first projections are announced.

AFP

Supporter of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats react as the first projections are announced.

For the past several months, it was clear that the German election wasn’t going to be much of a cliffhanger. And that expectation was met in spades on Sunday as the first projections emerged soon after the polls closed at 6 p.m., with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives easily outpacing the center-left Social Democrats as the country’s strongest party. The result will send Merkel to her fourth term in the Chancellery.

 Nevertheless, Sunday’s vote marks a significant shift in German politics, with initial projections showing the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party winning over 13 percent of the vote, thus becoming the first overtly right-wing party to win seats in the country’s federal parliament in over half a century. The result slightly outpaces the most recent public polling data — and is a far cry from the 7 percent the AfD had been polling at as recently as mid-summer — and it means the party will send close to 90 deputies to the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament.

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