The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.
German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union CDU Angela Merkel is seen after casting her vote in the general election (Bundestagswahl) in Berlin, Germany, September 24, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch(reuters_tickers)
BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives secured a fourth consecutive term in office on Sunday in an election that brought a far-right party into the German parliament for the first time in more than half a century, exit polls indicated.
After shock results last year, from Britain's vote to leave the European Union to the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, many look to Merkel to rally a bruised liberal Western order and lead a post-Brexit Europe.
Merkel's conservative bloc - her Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian allies, the Christian Social Union (CSU) - won 32.5 percent of the vote, making them by far the largest parliamentary group, according to an exit poll for the broadcaster ARD.
Their closest rivals, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), slumped to 20.0 percent - a new post-war low. The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) stunned the establishment by finishing third and entering parliament for the first time with 13.5 percent.
Merkel, Europe's longest-serving leader, joins the late Helmut Kohl, her mentor who reunified Germany, and Konrad Adenauer, who led Germany's rebirth after World War Two, as the only post-war chancellors to win four national elections.
She must now form a coalition government - an arduous process that could take months as all potential partners are unsure whether they really want to share power with her.
(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Kevin Liffey)