Merkel's conservatives biggest winner in German election
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), emerged as the biggest winner in Sunday's federal election, official provisional results showed early Monday.
The pair garnered 41.5 percent of the vote, while the largest opposition party, the center-left Social Democrat Party (SPD), took 25.7 percent, according to the results.
The Green party, the SPD's favored ally, captured 8.4 percent, and the Left Party, 8.6 percent.
"This is a super result," a smiling Merkel dressed in blue told chanting supporters at her party headquarters in Berlin on Sunday night.
Merkel's junior coalition partner, the Free Democrats, however, failed to retain seats in parliament, with its disappointing share of 4.8 percent.
The Euroskeptic party of Alternative for Germany, an election wild card founded early this year, also fell short of the 5-percent threshold required to win seats in parliament.
Without a majority in parliament, the CDU/CSU bloc has to find a partner to form a coalition in order to rule Europe's largest economy for the next four years.
A "grand coalition" with the SPD as in Merkel's first term of 2005-2009 seems to be her preferred option, as a partnership with the Greens is likely to be even more difficult owing to their policy difference.
Talks with the SPD may involve weeks of horse-trading. "We will discuss the issue in committees tomorrow," said Merkel on Sunday night.