Angela Merkel celebrates after German election win


Angela Merkel told her supporters: "We can all be delighted"

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party has won Germany's election, but finished just short of an absolute majority, official results show.

Mrs Merkel urged her party to celebrate "a super result" as she looked set for a historic third term.

Her conservative bloc took about 41.5% of the vote - but her liberal partners failed to make it into parliament.

It is thought she is likely to seek a grand coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) who won 26%.


This is an amazing result for Angela Merkel, currently Germany's - and Europe's - pre-eminent politician. It was clear that she would win this election, but no-one really predicted that she could get so close to an absolute majority.

The final results are not yet in, but it may still be that she needs a coalition partner. The obvious solution is a grand coalition with the centre-left Social Democrats. The party improved its share of the vote in second place, but still did not do as well as it wanted.

But there are divisions within the SPD about going into coalition again as a junior partner. In 2009 they were punished by the electorate for doing that in 2005.

Now the same thing has happened to the liberal Free Democrats, who have been in coalition with Mrs Merkel for the last four years, but appear to have been kicked out of parliament altogether.

The results showed that the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) won only 4.8%, which correspondents say is a disaster for the junior coalition partner, leaving it with no national representation in parliament for the first time in Germany's post-war history.

Party chairman Philipp Roesler called it "the bitterest, saddest hour of the Free Democratic Party".

The FDP was beaten by the Green Party (8.4%) and the former communist Left Party (8.6%). It almost finished behind the new Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD), which advocates withdrawal from the euro currency and took 4.7%, just short of the parliamentary threshold.

There was at one point speculation that Mrs Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister CSU might even win enough seats for an absolute majority - the first in half a century.

'Something fantastic'

Final percentage of the vote

  • CDU bloc: 41.5%
  • SPD: 26%
  • FDP: 4.8%
  • Left Party: 8.6%
  • Green: 8.4%
  • AfD: 4.7%

Mrs Merkel earlier addressed jubilant supporters at CDU headquarters. After waiting for chants of "Angie, Angie" to die down, she told them: "This is a super result."

"We can celebrate tonight because we have done something fantastic."

But, in a reference to coalition building, she said it was "too early to say exactly what we'll do".

Correspondents say that the 59-year-old chancellor seemed to acknowledge the complexities of forming a government when she was asked on television if she planned to reach out to other parties.

"Maybe we won't find anyone who wants to do anything with us," she replied.

Correspondents say that the result is nevertheless a ringing endorsement of her steady leadership during the euro zone crisis.

CDU parliamentary group leader Volker Kauder said that the party "has a clear mandate from voters to form a government". The outcome showed that "voters want Angela Merkel to remain chancellor" for a third term, he said.

Angela Merkel celebrates election victory Angela Merkel told supporters they had achieved "something fantastic"
German CDU supporters celebrate the election result CDU supporters celebrated a resounding victory
SPD leader Peer Steinbrueck Peer Steinbrueck has said he will not take part in a grand coalition
German free democratic party FDP party chairman Philipp Roesler (L) is comforted by his wife Wiebke FDP chairman Philipp Roesler oversaw a disastrous result for the party

Mrs Merkel has made clear she would be prepared to work with the Social Democrats (SPD) in a grand coalition, as she did in 2005-09.

The SPD has been more reluctant to consider linking up with the CDU/CSU again. The party leader, Peer Steinbrueck, was finance minister in the previous grand coalition, but has said he would not serve in such a government again.

Correspondents say that whatever the shape of the coalition that ends up forming the government, there probably will not be any significant policy shifts, although Germany might take a slightly softer approach to austerity in the eurozone.

Several weeks of difficult coalition negotiations are expected.

Peer Steinbrueck: "We did not get the result we wanted"

After the exit polls were released, but before official results were confirmed, Mr Steinbrueck conceded that it would be up to Mrs Merkel to decide how to proceed saying: "The ball is in Mrs Merkel's court. She has to get herself a majority."

The BBC's Chris Morris, at Social Democrat headquarters, said Mr Steinbrueck was putting a brave face on it but the atmosphere was subdued.

The SPD would have preferred to enter a coalition with the Green Party, but does not appear to have the votes to do so, and has ruled out a three-way alliance including the Left Party (Die Linke).

Analysts think the SPD will probably agree to a coalition with the CDU/CSU.

Turnout, projected at about 72%, was higher than at the last federal election - which had the worst on record.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    Though Angela Merkel is back in the saddle, it won't be that easy for her as she has fallen short of absolute majority. She will have to cut a deal with the social democrats and may have to yield to some of the demands of the partner to get on with the show.

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    @103.Alaric the Visigoth
    .. remaining unreformed they were left in a very vulnerable state when the financial crisis struck

    Italy reformed a lot, its main problem is historic debt it carried into the Euro, trying to keep to the SGP rules meant it had to spend its available money servicing that debt so its infrastructure fell behind & it became less competitive & less able to service the debt

  • rate this

    Comment number 158.

    153. Letsbe_avenue
    Not for the SPD, let Angie try and form a government, fail, then she'll have to go...
    Tragic life sometines innit???
    Yours is wishful and malicious thinking more than anything else.

  • rate this

    Comment number 157.

    If there is no coalition --but instead new elections -- then ´God-help´ the Social Democrats and Greens.

    German voters will vote for stability.

    The AfD need NEW EU problems to increase their share of the vote--so also will not want a re-election.

  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    I am happily amazed that a new party (AfD formed this year) managed to get almost 5% of the vote :-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 155.

    152 Green_Line_Germany
    see this

    Which is why Mr zu Güttenberg was more popular than Merkel in her cabinet despite only having been on the scene for a year. That's your progressive, post monarchy model, he had approval ratings of 75%, when Merkel was managing 45-50%.

  • rate this

    Comment number 154.


    The investment I was saying did not have the effect the claimant reckoned was that of German households not getting into much debt....

    ....that is the German thing about not borrowing - HOWEVER the German Government & business have long BORROWED the money to invest.....just not to the same extent as British ones as they reduced dividend payments/bonuses too.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 153.

    149 Dun Geonson
    This can only be a good thing. It will create balance and more stability

    Not for the SPD, let Angie try and form a government, fail, then she'll have to go...
    Tragic life sometines innit???

  • rate this

    Comment number 152.

    "Girl form the East" to have led Germany to glory and pride

    70% of Germans reject monarchy as anachronistic model of inequality that is undemocratic by the accident of birth

    Kingdoms, Queens and Kings do belong to fairy-tales from children

    Monarchy is against personal performance, suitability and equal chances

    Germany more modern and progressive than old-fashioned UK

  • rate this

    Comment number 151.

    31 Minutes ago
    108.Colin2108 - ".....their save up for it and only buy when you have the money culture. It has served them well....." is only the Euro that has kept their exports competative since then....


    Neglecting to reconise the impactof Germans collective agreements on pay to fund investments would be silly..

  • rate this

    Comment number 150.

    but EU are to blame for not checking Greece's books better

    more than that they colluded (or at least deliberately turned a blind eye) in the con in order to expand the Euro faster. Der Speigel also recently published documents showing Chancellor Kohl colluded in allowing Italy to join for political reasons when it didn't meet the economic criteria

  • rate this

    Comment number 149.

    "A coalition with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) is seen as most likely - but only after hard bargaining."

    This can only be a good thing. It will create balance and more stability.

  • rate this

    Comment number 148.

    Of course the EU-phobes wanted a different outcome, in orders to de-stabilise the European economies, no matter what the cost and suffering this would cause. Fortunately, it didn't happen and we can now continue to rebuild and hopefully soon be the biggest global economy again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 147.

    wont' be welcome with all lefties at BBC - but shows that an ordainary woman from a decent hardworking background can acheive great things for thier country. Also encouraging not to read an endless stream of UKIP, anti European, Anti-German bile on these comments as is often the case. Hopefully we are finally growing up in the UK now is the time to cultivate a proper relationship with Deutchland

  • rate this

    Comment number 146.

    144. Sagacity
    @141.Philip Jennings
    You've completely lost the plot & the argument
    If you say so.

  • rate this

    Comment number 145.

    142 Aamir People are just happy that stability has prevailed.

    But nothing has prevailed. If Merkel cannot convince either the Greens or the SPD to commit hari-kiri there will be no government.
    I suggest your stability is everyones else's inertia and Spardiktat.
    If Merkel is the future of Europe, heaven help us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 144.

    @141.Philip Jennings

    You've completely lost the plot & the argument

  • rate this

    Comment number 143.

    Congrats the real Iron Lady, Queen of Europe! Ms. Merkel!

  • rate this

    Comment number 142.

    139. Letsbe_avenue
    ...So much for the gushing of many on here about him & the CDU.
    Gushing? People are just happy that stability has prevailed. This is about economics, not emotion or sentiment.

  • rate this

    Comment number 141.

    135. Sagacity
    @116.Philip Jennings
    Now you're getting desperate, leaving out that it was the highly respected & right leaning Telegraph that called Schauble the "most dangerous man in the world"
    Highly respected? Mwhahahaha! Also, the fact that you feel compelled to begin your post with personal "attacks' shows that you are anything but convinced of your own right.


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