BBC NEWS | Europe | Merkel 'retains power in Germany'
Chancellor Angela Merkel has been returned to power in Germany, exit polls suggest, after her conservative bloc won 33.5% of the vote.
Mrs Merkel's CDU/CSU may have enough seats to ditch her Social Democrat coalition partners and form a centre-right alliance with the FDP.
She has said that the new alliance will get Europe's biggest economy out of its deepest crisis since World War II.
Preliminary results are expected in the next few hours.
An exit poll for ZDF television gave the Social Democrats (SPD) 23.5% and the Free Democrats (FDP), Mrs Merkel's preferred partners, 14.5%.
This would give the centre-right alliance a narrow majority over the SPD and the two other major parties, the Greens and the Left, both of which increased their share of the vote.
Very interesting I wonder how much a new allaince will change both Germany and the EU. I could see Germany sending more troops to The Afgan now since she doesn't have to cow tow to the Social Dems.