Germany election official results: Merkel triumphs but allies crushed
BERLIN (AP) – Chancellor Angela Merkel led her conservatives to a stunning victory in Germany’s election on Sunday, a personal triumph that cements her position as Europe’s most powerful leader. However, she will need to reach out to center-left rivals to form a new government after her coalition partner crashed out of Parliament.
Ms Merkel’s Union bloc scored its best result in 23 years to put her on course for a third term, winning 41.5 percent of the vote and finishing only five seats short of an absolute majority in the lower house.
The 59-year-old benefited from a strong economy and low unemployment that have helped keep her personal popularity sky-high – a contrast with the string of leaders who have lost their jobs in other European countries since the continent’s debt crisis erupted three years ago. A new coalition probably won’t result in any major shifts in German policy, though it could bring a slightly softer tone to managing the crisis.
Ms Merkel, Germany’s chancellor since 2005 and the de facto leader of the European crisis response that has mixed aid with austerity, told supporters it was “a super result.” She wouldn’t immediately speculate about the shape of the next government, but made clear she plans to serve a full term.