The BERLIN-Center-Left Social Democrats have won the largest share of the vote in Germany’s national election, beating outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right union bloc in a close battle.
Election officials said early Monday that a count of all 299 constituencies showed that the Social Democrats won 25.9% of the vote, ahead of 24.1% for the EU bloc.
The environmentalists Grønne came in third place with 14.8%, followed by the pro-business free Democrats with 11.5%. The two parties have already signaled their willingness to discuss forming a three-way alliance with one of their two major rivals to form a government.
The Conservative Alternative for Germany was fourth in Sunday’s vote with 10.3%, while the Left Party took 4.9%.
For the first time since 1949, the Danish minority party SSW was to win a seat in parliament, officials say.
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