BERLIN (REUTERS) - Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed her conservative bloc's victory in Germany's national election on Sunday as an excellent result but said it was too early to discuss plans for the next government.
"This is a super result," Dr Merkel told cheering supporters after television exit polls showed her Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) winning 42 to 42.5 per cent of the vote.
"We will do all we can in the next four years together to make them successful years for Germany. It is too early to say how we will proceed but today we should celebrate."
Her centre-left rival Mr Peer Steinbrueck, whose Social Democrats (SPD) came in second place on around 26 per cent, said it was for Dr Merkel to decide now what a future government will look like.