In Germany, the Social Democrats are trying to form a government after they narrowly won their first national election since 2005 to end 16 years of conservative-led rule under Angela Merkel.
According to provisional results, the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) won 25.7 per cent of the votes, ahead of 24.1 per cent for Merkel’s the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) conservative bloc.
The Greens came in at 14.8 per cent and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) were on 11.5 per cent. The Social Democrats’ Chancellor candidate, Olaf Scholz said, he hoped to strike a coalition deal before Christmas, although his conservative rival Armin Laschet said, he could still try to form a government despite coming in second.
However, Ms Merkel will stay in-charge in a caretaker role during the coalition negotiations that will set the future course of Europe’s largest economy.