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Angela Merkel easily wins third term as German chancellor

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is congratulated by German Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen, left, after first exit polls in the German general election at the CDU party headquarters in Berlin Sept. 22. Fabrizio Bensch, Reuters

Chancellor Angela Merkel won a third term by a landslide in German elections on Sunday, with official results confirming her conservatives were shy of holding absolute majority in parliament.

"This is a super result," Merkel told her excited supporters. "Together, we will do all we can to make the next four years successful ones for Germany."

Election officials said Merkel's conservative Union bloc — the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) — won 41.5 percent of Sunday's vote. The officials did not provide a seat tally, but one of Merkel's allies, the pro-business Free Democrats, dropped to 4.8 percent, not enough support to hold a seat in parliament.

The conservative parties were on their way to their highest score since 1990, the year of German unification.

However, the upper house is heavily populated with left-leaning parties such as the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Green party. The SDP won 25.7 percent of the vote and the Greens 4.7 percent.

Carsten Koschmieder, a political analyst at Berlin's Free University noted before the official count, "If Merkel does end up with an absolute majority, it will be a very narrow majority so it will not make things easier for her politically."

"She will have to pay much more attention to people in her own party, for example those who voted against Greek bailouts," Koschmieder added.

Merkel’s opponent, Peer Steinbrück of the SDP said, “We did not reach the result that we wanted … The ball is now in Mrs. Merkel's court, she has to form a government."

With the official vote in, Merkel's is expected to form an alliance with the Social Democrats in order to secure a majority coalition.

Andy Eckardt of NBC News, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.