Berlin, (Asian independent) Germany’s centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) led by incumbent Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, has won about 26 per cent of the votes in the federal elections which will usher in a new government and mark the end of the Angela Merkel era, preliminary exit poll released on Monday by the local media showed.
The conservative union of Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister party Christian Social Union (CSU) led by the Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet took about 24 per cent of the vote, Xinhua news agency quoted the poll as saying.
According to election authorities, around 60.4 million citizens were eligible to vote on Sunday.
The election is of great importance as incumbent Chancellor Merkel will no longer run for re-election 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.
The competition is so fierce that it is difficult to predict which party will garner the most seats in the Bundestag.
According to the latest opinion poll conducted prior to Sunday’s elections, SPD tops the list by only 1 to 4 percentage points ahead of the CDU.
Opinion poll results also showed that the Greens will probably become the third largest party, while the other three parties in the current Bundestag, the Free Democratic Party, the Left Party and the right-wing Alternative for Germany, are likely to cross the 5 per cent threshold for entering the Bundestag.