Merkel's Party Wins German Election, Ally Unclear
Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrat party is ahead by a wide margin in the German election, according to exit polls.
However, it is still unclear who Merkel will go into coalition with, as her current partners, the Free Democrats (FDP) are estimated to have received 4.7% of the votes, slightly below the 5% threshold.
According to public broadcaster ZDF, exit poll data from Sunday's general election indicates the following results by 6pm local time: Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union (CSU): 42,5%; Peer Steinbruck's Social Democrats (SPD) 26,5%; the pro-business Free Democrats, (FDP) 4.5%; the Greens (die Grüne) 8,0%; the Left Party (Die Linke) 8,5%; the euroskeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) 4,8%.
According to public broadcaster ARD, the results by 6.37 pm local time are the following: CDU/CSU 42.1%; SPD 25.8%; FDP 4.7%; the Greens 8.1%; the Left Party 8.2%; AfD 4.9%.
The results were published after the closure of polling stations at 6pm local time.
Around 62 million people were eligible to vote in Sunday's general election.
According to preliminary estimates, as cited by ARD, voter turnout was 73%, compared to 70.8% four years ago.