With just days to go until Germans head to the polls, the likelihood of Chancellor Angela Merkel retaining her crown grows ever larger. But Germany's establishment could still be in for a shock.
On Thursday, the anti-euro Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) hit the 5 percent threshold for the first time that parties need to gain a seat in parliament, according to an INSA poll. The poll suggested Merkel may not be able to re-form her center-right coalition with the liberal FDP.
The poll gave Merkel's CDU/CSU coalition 38 percent of the vote, while the FDP got 6 percent. Their combined 44 percent would not give them a majority in parliament.
Twenty-eight percent of the vote went to the social democrat SPD led by Merkel's main challenger, Peer Steinbrueck.
(Read more: How does Germany's electoral system work?)
The straight-talking Steinbrueck raised eyebrows earlier this week when he appeared on the cover of Süddeutsche Zeitung magazine making an obscene gesture. The magazine published one of its regular photo "interviews", showing the SPD candidate in a series of poses. In one of them he raised his middle finger when asked how he felt about some of the nicknames he had acquired, including "Peerlusconi".