Listen to this article
Angela Merkel has called for all parties to “take responsibility” after the establishment German parties — the CDU, the CSU and the SPD — all suffered their worst results since the first postwar election in 1949. However, the CDU/CSU are still the strongest party in the next parliament.
Ms Merkel said she would be starting coalition talks in the coming days with all sides. However, the SPD has ruled out joining the next government. Its leading candidate Martin Schulz said: “I think that confrontation is desperately needed now in the political culture of this country.” By being part of the opposition he wants to fight against the claim of the AfD being the only “true party of opposition”.
This leaves the chancellor with only one other likely option: a three-way “Jamaica” pact between Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc with the Free Democrats and the Greens. This potentially fragile coalition would be the first three-party government in half a century.
The populist AfD has outperformed polls and entered the Bundestag with more than 13 per cent of the vote, the first time a party to right of the CDU/CSU has been voted into the federal parliament since the 1950s. Protesters assembled in front of the AfD’s election party in Berlin and demonstrations were reported in other cities.
A protester holds up a sign reading “Xenophobia is not an alternative” during a protest outside an election event of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in Berlin after the general election on September 24, 2017. (AFP)
German Chancellor and Christian Democrat leader Angela Merkel speaks after initial results gave the party 33.1 per cent of the vote, putting it in first place in German federal elections. Ms Merkel is on track to win a fourth term and will now enter into negotiations between parties over the next coalition government. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
People hold placards while waiting for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to react to first exit polls in the German general election in Berlin. (Pawel Kopczynski/Pool Photo via AP)
Supporters of the Social Democratic party react as exit poll results were broadcast on public television at an election night event at the party’s headquarters in Berlin during the general election
Alexander Gauland, co-lead candidate of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), at party offices during the federal elections in Berlin. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Dieter Janecek of the Green party reacts as exit poll results were broadcast on public television at an election night event in Munich.
Armin-Paul Hampel of the anti-immigration AfD reacts to the first exit polls in the German general election in Berlin.
Christian Lindner (centre) leader of the Free Democratic party (FDP) addresses supporters after exit poll results at an election night event in Berlin. The party is returning to the Bundestag after failing to gain enough support at the last election. AFP PHOTO / dpa / Federico Gambarini / Germany OUTFEDERICO GAMBARINI/AFP/Getty Images
German SPD leader and candidate for chancellor Martin Schulz speaks after initial results gave the party 20 per cent of the vote, giving it a second-place finish in elections but one of its worst results in the history of the federal republic. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland, co-lead candidates of the AfD celebrate after the announcement of the initial results that give the party 13.3 per cent of the vote, and third place finish in German federal elections. The results will qualify the AfD to have its own parliamentarians in the Bundestag.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacts after first exit polls in the German general election in Berlin.