Germany votes as history beckons for Merkel, and far-right
Germans began voting in a national election on Sunday that is likely to see Chancellor Angela Merkel win a historic fourth term and a far-right party enter parliament for the first time in more than half a century, Reuters reported.
Merkel’s conservative bloc is on track to remain the largest group in parliament, opinion polls indicated, but a fracturing of the political landscape may well make it harder for her to form a ruling coalition than previously.
With as many as a third of Germans undecided in the run-up to the election, Merkel and her main rival, centre-left challenger Martin Schulz of the Social Democrats (SPD), urged them on Saturday to get out and vote.
“We want to boost your motivation so that we can still reach many, many people,” the chancellor, 63, said in Berlin on Saturday before heading north to her constituency for a final round of campaigning.
In regional votes last year, Merkel’s conservatives suffered setbacks to the hard-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which profited from resentment at her 2015 decision to leave German borders open to over one million migrants.