- Title: GERMANY: Voting closes as Angela Merkel leads, coalition unclear in exit polls
- Date: 22nd September 2013
- Summary: BONN, GERMANY (SEPTEMBER 22, 2013) (REUTERS) MAN ENTERING POLLING STATION PEOPLE IN POLLING STATION VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CASTING VOTES TIME ON PHONE SCREEN TURNING TO 18:00, MAN CLOSING POLLING STATION DOOR ELECTION OFFICIALS LEAVING DESK BALLOT BOX BEING CARRIED BALLOT BOX BEING OPENED VOTES BEING TIPPED ONTO TABLE VARIOUS OF VOTES BEING COUNTED
- Embargoed: 7th October 2013 13:00
- Location: Germany
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVACHQOSJ7QS4MGXA55J0TW8TSU6
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: German polling stations closed their doors on Sunday (September 22) at 1800 local (1600GMT) as Angela Merkel looks likely to remain Chancellor for a third term.
According to exit polls, Merkel's conservatives won the most votes in the national election, putting her on track for a third term. But it is unclear who she will work with. e voting projection suggested her conservative CDU could even obtain an absolute majority, as it was unclear whether she would be able to preserve her centre-right coalition.
Another scenario would see her forced to work with her leftist rivals, an exit poll showed.
An exit poll from public broadcaster ARD showed Chancellor Merkel's conservative bloc - the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) -- on 42 percent, which if confirmed would be their strongest score since 1990.
That gives the conservatives an outside chance of securing an absolute majority on their own, which would be a historic success for the 59-year-old Merkel, whose steady leadership during the euro zone crisis has made her hugely popular at home But the exit polls did not give a clear indication of whether Merkel will be able to preserve her centre-right coalition. Her Free Democrat (FDP) coalition partners only scored 4.7 percent of the vote according to exit polls, and if confirmed that would be just under the 5 percent threshold needed for them to make it back into parliament.
A new eurosceptic party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), was hovering at 4.9 percent -- also a whisper below the 5 percent threshold. .
Support for the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) stood at 26 percent, the environmentalist Greens were on 8 percent and the hardline Left party was at 8.5 percent.
If the FDP fails to get into the Bundestag, then Merkel will almost certainly have to enter coalition talks with the SPD, with whom she ruled between 2005 and 2009. Negotiations could last months and a new government could adopt more leftist policies like a minimum wage and tax hikes for top earners.
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