Exit polls made clear on Sunday that incumbent German Chancellor Angela Merkel would be continuing her role in the office for a third term. While the spotlight is currently focused on Merkel as she prepares for next term, let’s take a look back at the campaign between Merkel, the candidate of the Christian Democratic Union, or CDU, and her closest rival Peer Steinbrueck, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, or SPD.
At the time of this article’s publication, Merkel’s CDU/Christian Social Union coalition had about 41.7 percent of the vote, while Steinbrueck’s SPD had about 25.6 percent of the vote, according to the Guardian.
While Steinbrueck was Merkel’s closest rival, his campaign was marred after a photograph of himself extending a middle finger toward a camera was featured on the front page of the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The cover was featured on multiple German newspapers after its initial publication, causing additional controversy for the SPD candidate.
Take a look back at Merkel’s and Steinbrueck’s campaigns in the photos here.
German Chancellor Merkel waves after giving speech during CDU election campaign rally in Berlin Reuters
A security officer of Germany's Federal Police watches the crowd as Steinbrueck of the Social Democratic Party addresses an election campaign rally in Essen Reuters
German Chancellor Merkel stands on stage with members of her campaign team at CDU election campaign rally in Stralsund Reuters
People watch a TV duel of German Chancellor Merkel of the CDU with her challenger, the top candidate of the SPD in the upcoming German general elections Steinbrueck, in a restaurant in Berlin Reuters
The controversial studio photo of Social Democratic Party candidate, Peer Steinbrueck, that appeared on the front page of German magazine, Sueddeutsche Zeitung Sueddeutsche Zeitung
Combination picture shows German Chancellor Merkel wearing jackets of differing colours while attending various public events Reuters
SPD top-candidate Steinbrueck reacts during town-hall style election rally event at Alexanderplatz in Berlin Reuters
Election campaign posters of the top candidate of the Social Democratic Party Steinbrueck and German Chancellor and head of the Christian Democratic Union party Merkel are pictured in Berlin Reuters
Steinbrueck top candidate of SPD casts ballot in German general election at polling station in Bonn Reuters
German Chancellor Merkel casts her ballot during the German general election (Bundestagswahl) at a polling station in Berlin Reuters
SPD top candidate Steinbrueck acknowledges applause as he speaks after the first exit polls in the German general election (Bundestagswahl) at the party headquarters in Berlin Reuters
Steinbrueck, top candidate of the SPD in the German general election Bundestagswahl adjusts his glasses at the party headquarters after first exit polls in Berlin Reuters
German Labour Minister Von der Leyen German Chancellor Merkel and CDU party secretary general Groehe celebrate after German general election in Berlin Reuters
German politicians Riexinger, Steinbrueck, Hasselfeldt, Chancellor Merkel and Trittin pose after a TV discussion regarding the German general election (Bundestagswahl) results, at the ZDF studios in Berlin Reuters
German Chancellor Merkel celebrates after German general election at CDU headquarters in Berlin Reuters