The drubbing at the polls received by German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party over the weekend reflects Europeans' growing distain for their established political parties, experts warn.
Only 17.6 percent of Berliners voted for Merkel's CDU in this week's elections, while the relative newcomer of the anti-immigration AfD gained 14.1 percent. The Social Democrats came in first, as expected, with 21.6 percent of the vote.
With German federal elections slated for next year, there is a rising chance that the next government will be a three-party coalition with the far-right AfD, according to the chief economist of ING-DiBA.
"Given the new — mildly put — challenging environment and increased unrest in Germany's government, politics will remain at center stage in the coming months," Frankfurt-based Carsten Brzeski said in a note on Monday.
Merkel's waning popularity is in part due to her open-door policy towards refugees fleeing the carnage in Syria and Iraq. Consequently, German net immigration reached a record high of 1.139 million last year. Even Merkel's sister party, the CSU, is demanding controls on Germany's annual refugee intake.