End of Merkel era; Germany's Social Democrats narrowly win pollstext_fields
Berlin: Germany's centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) led by incumbent Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz, has won the general election with 25.7 per cent of the vote, beating the conservative union CDU/CSU and bringing an end to the Angela Merkel era.
The SDP's share of the vote surged by 5.2 percentage points from four years ago, while its main rival the conservative union of Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister party Christian Social Union (CSU) suffered heavy losses, reports Xinhua news.
The provisional results showed the CDU/CSU union took only 24.1 per cent of the vote in Sunday's parliamentary election, 8.9 percentage points lower than in the last polls.
It marks the end of the dominant role of the conservatives led by Merkel for over a decade in the country's Bundestag, or the lower house of Parliament.
Meanwhile, the Green Party received 14.8 per cent of votes in the election, making it the third-largest political faction in parliament, followed by the business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the right-wing and Eurosceptic party Alternative for Germany with 11.5 per cent and 10.3 per cent respectively, according to the Federal Returning Officer.
Scoring 4.9 per cent of the vote, the far-left Die Linke (Left Party) failed to pass the five percent threshold to enter Parliament.
Sunday's elections were of great importance as Merkel will no longer continue in politics after almost 16 years in office.
As she will retire from her political career, Germany and, to some extent, the European Union will enter a new era with unclear prospects.