German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been re-elected for a fourth term while nationalists have made a historic breakthrough in federal elections. Support for her conservative CDU/CSU alliance has dwindled but the coalition will remain the largest in the parliament. Its current coalition partner, the social democratic SPD, says it will go into opposition following big losses. The nationalist AfD is on track to become the third party. The AfD performance means the right-wing, anti-Islam party will have seats in the Bundestag for the first time. The exit polls suggest the Social Democrats (SPD), led by Martin Schulz, have fallen to a new post-World War Two low. He said the result meant the end of the “grand coalition” with Mrs Merkel’s alliance. With the possibility of an alliance with the SPD rejected, Mrs Merkel’s options are narrow, and the process of forming a new coalition could take months. The projections suggest that six parties will be in the German parliament for the first time since World War Two.
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