Regional elections in Lower Saxony see Social Democrats and Greens narrowly oust Conservative and Free Democrat coaliton. FDP vote was surprisingly strong.
Germany's Conservatives and Social Democrats have an overwhelming majority, but ruling in a coalition government has proven quite difficult. The opposition, meanwhile, lacks a clear profile.
Social Democrat chairman Sigmar Gabriel has sought to rally party colleagues at their conference in Leipzig. The SPD is lagging after election defeat and amid difficult coalition talks with Angela Merkel's conservatives.
Germany's center-left Social Democrats have voted in an unprecedented ballot among party members to enter a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel and her conservatives. Speculation now focuses on the cabinet line-up.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives have sat down for a second set of talks discussing the possibility of ruling in partnership with the ecologist Greens. Many in Germany consider this alliance unlikely, at best.
© 2014 Deutsche Welle | Legal notice | Contact