Angela Merkel wins third term

Angela Merkel has won a historic third term as chancellor after her party won Germany's election, but fell short of an absolute majority.

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Germans cast their votes in election

German voters, some dressed in traditional costumes, have been casting their ballots in a election that is widely expected to return the incumbent Angela Merkel to power.

There are some 62 million eligible voters in the country and approval ratings for Merkel have soared over 60 percent in recent years.

The first exit polls are expected around 6pm local time (5PM UK time).

Voters Veronika Stuerzer, Monika Merk, Johann Merk and Michael Merk (L-R) wearing traditional Bavarian costume cast their ballots Credit: REUTERS/Michaela Rehle
Voter Monika Merk, wearing a traditional Bavarian Dirndl, casts her ballot Credit: REUTERS/Michaela Rehle
Corinna Woehrle and Gerlinde Moser (L) wearing traditional Black Forest costumes, fill ballots Credit: REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

Merkel eyes third term in first German vote since crisis

In the first German election since Europe's debt crisis erupted four years ago, voters are likely to give Angela Merkel a third term on Sunday, but may force her into a coalition with her leftist rivals and catapult a new anti-euro party into parliament.

German Chancellor and conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Angela Merkel Credit: REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (

The vote is being closely watched by Berlin's European partners, with some hoping Chancellor Merkel will soften her approach towards struggling euro states like Greece if she is pushed into a 'grand coalition' with the Social Democrats (SPD).

Voting is due to begin at 8 a.m. (0600 GMT) and the first exit polls will be published at 6 p.m. (1600 GMT). Some 62 million Germans are eligible to vote.

Merkel's main rivals: Trittin and Goering-Eckardt

Lead candidates for chancellor Juergen Trittin and Katrin Goering-Eckardt of Germany's environmental party Die Gruenen (The Greens) Credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz

The Greens (Die Gruene) have been consistently ranked third in opinion polls in recent months ahead of the German general election.

Led by Juergen Trittin, a former environment minister, and Katrin Goering-Eckardt, the surprise winner of the party's primaries, the party is eyeing a red-green coalition with the Socialists.

Here are some important facts about the candidate:

Juergen Trittin - Co-leader of the Green's parliamentary group alongside Katrin Goering-Eckardt.

  • 1980: Joined the Greens
  • 1998-2005: Environment minister

Merkel's main rivals: Peer Steinbruck

Peer Steinbruck, the main challenger to Angela Merkel's position in Germany's federal elections is the leader of the centre-left Socialist Democratic Party (SPD).

Peer Steinbruck, German Chancellor candidate in upcoming German elections Credit: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

The SPD candidate says it is time for Germany to show solidarity and help its EU partners, adding that Ms Merkel "lacked passion" for Europe.

Here are some facts about the candidate:

  • 1947: Born in Hamburg
  • 1974: Graduates with economics degree from University of Kiel
  • 1980s: Chief of staff for the North Rhein-Westphalia
  • 1998: Economic minister for the North Rhein-Westphalia
  • 2002 - 2005: Minister president or Governor of North Rhein-Westphalia
  • 2005 - 2009: Served as Germany's finance minister under coalition with Angela Merkel's party


Merkel may face new coalition with anti-euro party

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat party may face a new coalition as recent polls show that their Bavarian sister party is only just above the 5% threshold for staying in parliament.

Uncertainty over whether German Chancellor Angela Merkel will continue with same coalition. Credit: ITV News

Should the Free Democrats (FDP) fail to be re-elected, Ms Merkel may be forced into a "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats (SPD), like her first government of 2005-2009.

Such uncertainty would affect weaker economies on the euro zone's "periphery", pushing up yields on the likes of Spanish and Italian debt relative to Germany's, the euro zone benchmark.

German parties hold final rallies ahead of election

Some of the main contenders in Germany's upcoming parliamentary elections held their final campaign rallies across the country on Friday.

A supporter holds a placard depicting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with the slogan: "Mom's doing it" Credit: Reuters/Michael Dalder

Germans head to the polls on Sunday to elect members of the Bundestag, the lower house in the German political system, and the one which determines the government and the chancellor.

Opinion polls indicate that Angela Merkel will continue as chancellor after the election but possibly with a new coalition partner.

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