Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) will need to bring clarity to an immigration policy which likely helped the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) pull off a surprise entry into parliament, a senior CDU official told CNBC.
"We have to take the concerns of AfD voters very seriously," said David McAllister, a CDU member and chair of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee.
"I'm not interested in the populist AfD politicians who ran a dreadful campaign based on racism and extreme nationalism. But I'm concerned about hundreds of thousands of people who have stopped voting for my party and are now voting for the AfD. "
The AfD stunned the establishment by finishing third and entering parliament for the first time, with 13.5 percent of the vote. Under Germany's mixed-member proportional voting system, that vaults it well beyond the 5 percent threshold needed for seats in parliament.