Angela Merkel won. But how long can Germany's center hold?

The far right is ascendant in Germany

Newly re-elected German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
(Image credit: TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Before it even went down on Sunday, Germany's elections were branded as "boring." And indeed, the headline result has been predictably boring: As was widely expected and forecast for months, Angela Merkel held on to her job as chancellor of Germany for a fourth term, riding a still-strong economy to overcome the unpopularity of her decision to open Germany's doors to migrants from the Middle East and Africa.

But look below the headline result and things are much less boring. Like the U.K.'s recent general election, and the French presidential election before that, and just about every other Western election since the upsets of Brexit and President Trump, international watchers want to know one thing about the German election: Who's up and who's down among the "globalists" and the "populists"?

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