Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative-left coalition government suffered huge losses in Sunday’s European elections, while the far-right, Islamophobic AfD party made major gains.
Projections by public broadcaster ARD showed Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc (CDU/CSU) captured only 28.6% of the vote, a significant fall from the 35.3% it scored in the last European Parliament election five years ago.
Merkel’s coalition government partner the Social Democrat Party (SPD) crashed to 15.3%, sharply down from the 27.3% of the vote it collected in 2014.
The far-right Islamophobic Alternative for Germany (AfD) is projected to win 10.8% of the vote, up from 7.1% in the last election.
The environmentalist, pro-immigration Green Party enjoyed the biggest climb to a record 20.91%, up from 10.7% in the last election.
Turnout, estimated to be at 59%, was nearly 11 points higher than the previous European Parliament elections in 2014.
New seat projections
According to the projections, Chancellor Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU bloc is set to win 29 of the Germany’s 96 seats at the European Parliament.
The SPD, after its worst showing in European elections, projected to get only 12 seats.
The pro-European Green Party secured 21 seats at the parliament, up from 11 seats it had in the previous term.
The far-right AfD was projected to garner 11 seats, which would further strengthen the alliance of Eurosceptic and right-wing populist parties at the European Parliament.