NPR
Europe

Social Democrats Beat Merkel's Bloc In German Elections

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Guests at the election party of Die Linke react at the Karl-Liebknecht-Haus after the publication of the first forecasts on the outcome of the 2021 federal election, in Berlin on Sunday.
Jan Woitas, AP

Guests at the election party of Die Linke react at the Karl-Liebknecht-Haus after the publication of the first forecasts on the outcome of the 2021 federal election, in Berlin on Sunday.

The center-left Social Democrats have won the biggest share of the vote in Germany's national election, beating outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Union bloc in a closely fought race.

Election officials said early Monday that a count of all 299 constituencies showed the Social Democrats won 25.9% of the vote, ahead of 24.1% for the Union bloc.

The environmentalist Greens came third with 14.8% followed by the pro-business Free Democrats with 11.5%. The two parties have already signaled that they are willing to discuss forging a three-way alliance with either of their two bigger rivals to form a government.

The far-right Alternative for Germany came 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 set to win a seat in parliament, officials said.

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