German election exit polls IN FULL: Read full results as Angela Merkel prepares to retire

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Voting in the German election has now concluded the citizens have had their say about which parties and leaders they want governing the country in the coming years. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to retire after almost 16 years in the role and will be soon be replaced. The latest polls pitch SPD candidate Olaf Scholz as the most likely winner, but the gap between his party and the CDU/CSU has shortened in recent days. So according to the exit poll, who won the race? 

Chancellor Angela Merkel is retiring after 16 years leading Germany.

Her likely successor is uncertain with the CDU/CSU, SPD and Greens all leading in the polls at various points over the past few months. 

The latest polls suggest the race is extremely close – with just a few percentage points between the lead candidates.

Ms Merkel is likely to be around for a while in the wake of the election in a caretaker capacity as polls indicate the most likely outcome to require two or three parties to reach a deal on a coalition to have a majority in parliament. 

READ MORE: What the Germany election result means for UK trade

Based on these numbers, traffic light and Jamaica coalitions would be possible. 

However, red-green-red coalition is not possible.

The crucial barrier will be if the Left party surpasses the five percent hurdle for making it into Government.

If the party falls below this barrier, a Left-leaning SPD, Greens and Die Linke coalition will not be possible.

The Left party would then drop out of the Bundestag.

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