- Angela Merkel secured minority victiry based on preliminary exit polls
- The far-right, anti-immigrant AfD is posed to form the opposition
- One million voters have changed camp, droppig support for the CDU and moving to the AfD
- Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz ‘grand coalition’ ruled out by the SPD leader
The preliminary election exit polls from Germany show that Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) have come out ahead of Martin Schulz’s Social Democrats (SPD).
But Angela Merkel will now need to strike a coalition government in a three-way alliance between the CDU/CSU, Greens and liberal Free Democrats (FDP), after the SPD pulled out of the grand coaliton.
The controversial AfD has vowed to initiate a parliamentary committee to investigate Angela Merkel for allegations of her breaking the law.
Here are all the latest live updates, polls and campaign news as Germany elects its next government in the federal election. (All times BST)
8.03pm: John McCain congratulates Angela Merkel on victory
US Senator John McCain tweeted his congratulations to Angela Merkel and her CDU party.
He tweeted: “Congratulations to Angela Merkel & the @CDU on their election victory in #Germany. The US-German alliance is critical & must remain strong.”
7.59pm: Marine Le Pen congratulates AfD on ‘historic revival of Europe’s people’
Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s right-wing National Front party, tweeted her congratulations to the German AfD.
She tweeted: “Congratulations to our allies of the #AfD for this historic score! It is a new symbol of the revival of the European peoples.
“A special congratulations to Franke Petry who led the AfD at this historic score!”
7.56pm: ‘Berlin hates the AfD’ chant protesters on the streets of Berlin
Hundreds of demonstrators took to Alexanderplatz to protest the AfD’s success in the federal election, outside of an AfD celebration party.
“All of Berlin hates the AfD,” the protesters chanted as the police shield the AfD party from the protesters.
Some brawls and clashes have already broken out.
Election debate: SPD leader Martin Schulz blasted Mrs Merkel throughout the debate
7.49pm: Angela Merkel addresses AfD concerns about number of migrants in Germany
The German Chancellor said: “I see plenty of people on the streets but I can’t distinguish which of them have a German citizenship or don’t, whether they have an ethnic background or not.
“I think that you have said that some…