After Huge Win, Merkel Shops New Coalition

Party falls just short of historic absolute majority
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2013 2:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Angela Merkel is all but certain to serve a third term as chancellor of Germany after scoring a massive win in the country's election—but despite leading her Christian Democratic Union party to its best result in 23 years, she'll still need a partner to form a government. Her party scored 41.5% and fell just five seats short of an absolute majority. Her liberal coalition partners, however, the Free Democrats, had the worst election in their history and failed to reach the 5% necessary to have any representation in Parliament, the AP reports.

"This is an amazing result for Angela Merkel, currently Germany's—and Europe's—preeminent politician," says the BBC's Chris Morris. "It was clear that she would win this election, but no one really predicted that she could get so close to an absolute majority." There will probably be days of haggling ahead before Merkel and her party decide on a coalition partner, but most analysts expect she will reach out to the Social Democrats—the junior coalition partners in her first term—instead of the Green Party. (Read more Angela Merkel stories.)

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