Six parties set to clear the threshold to parliament in German elections

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel

But after Merkel's government toughened asylum rules and the influx of migrants began to ebb, support for the party weakened. Things are more complicated now.

Untested at a federal level, this has been mooted as an option under Merkel, who has pushed renewable energy. Clearly, for Germany it would mean stability.

Merkel-in contrast to President Trump-has a reputation for levelheaded leadership, which may continue to bolster the European Union business climate moving forward. What are some of the problems she's faced?

So, her relationship with Trump is cool. These are issues that would have wobbled the most seasoned politicians.

That bridging role used to be Britain's forte because of its traditional special relationship with Washington.

Coming four months after Emmanuel Macron became French president, chancellor Angela Merkel's likely new mandate will clear the way for joint initiatives, from a deepening of the eurozone to more defence cooperation. Once in power, Merkel will face a range of new challenges.

Just two years ago, Europe was being written off as a declining global actor. Policy clashes would be likely on tax, energy, the European Union, and migrants. A member of the SPD's youth organisation "Jusos", Tim Lange, 17, said a majority of young people in the party hoped to see it bounce back by returning to its left-wing tradition.

Surveys give the AfD between 11 and 14 percent of voter support to become the first rightwing extremists to take up seats in the German legislature in decades in a seismic shift in the political landscape. But the undercurrent is likely to be very different from the past.

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But far from heading to districts where her Christian Democratic Union enjoys its strongest support, she is visiting districts in the town of Greifswald and the island of Ruegen where the Islamophobic Alternative for Germany topped her party's score in state elections a year ago. There are around 3 million first-time voters.

For example, the selection of Supreme Court justices in the United States is highly politicized, but in Germany, a committee of 12 representing all parties in parliament privately selects a nominee. He talks about the potential creation of a new foreign policy dogma boosting Germany's worldwide presence with more emphasis on development policies.

Lagging in the polls with around 22 per cent of voting intentions, far behind Ms Merkel's conservative CDU which is stable at around 37 per cent, the SPD, led by former EU Parliament President Martin Schulz, is soul-searching. Some analysts think it might do better than the opinion polls because many people do not want to own up to pollsters for supporting such unwholesome views.

The others were sent to the head of Merkel's CSU Bavarian sister party, Horst Seehofer, the far-left Die Linke MP Gregor Gysi, and the Greens' top candidate Katrin Goering-Eckardt, said public broadcaster NDR and WDR. What is the political norm in many other European countries was unthinkable here.

At Merkel's final major stump speech on Friday evening in the southern city of Munich, activists tried to drown her out with whistles and vuvuzelas and chants of "get lost".

As Germany expands its global role, the vast majority of the public (81%) is also feeling good about Merkel's capacity to do the right thing on the world stage. Merkel's victory isn't because long-time voters plan to re-elect her. In diplomatic negotiations, she has the inscrutable eyes of a poker shark.

What makes it possible: The pro-business FDP has rebounded this year, winning enough votes in a vote in Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, in May to share power with the CDU there. And the other thing is that she's never quite overcome the public backlash about her decision in 2015 to open German borders to almost a million asylum seekers and other migrants.

But she quickly made a deal with Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan agreeing to provide $6 billion in subsidies to prevent the refugees from making the journey to Europe.

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