"Among the Russian-speaking German population, Russian wives or the first wave of Russian immigrants, many vote for the Christian Democrats, because for them the CDU is a party of the conservative statesmen, who prioritize stability and the statehood".
Martin Schulz, leader of the Social Democrats, says the party would rather become opposition leaders than enter another coalition with Merkel. The Social Democrats appear to have been hurt badly by being in government, making it hard to distinguish themselves from Merkel's conservatives.
This result will allow the party to enter the Bundestag for the first time, as Germany's third-biggest party, which Knobloch described as "a true nightmare and a historic turning point".
"One million people, foreigners, being brought into this country are taking away a piece of this country and we as AfD don't want that", Gauland said during a news conference Monday, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation.
The Social Democratic Party is likely to remain the chief opposition party, weakening the political impact of the AfD despite its third-place showing, said Sergey Lagodinsky, a political activist with the Green Party and member of the Berlin Jewish Community Council.
Although its beginnings as an anti-euro party were rooted in populism, the AfD's rhetoric veered further right in the run-up to Sunday's elections. But we are also anxious: "what will the asylum policy of the new government be?"
He insisted this would lead to a change in Germany's policy.
However, both the CDU/CSU pairing, as well as the SDP, saw significant slippages in their overall vote share, with a major portion of those lost votes going to both the far-right Alternative for Deutschland Party (Afd) and the Free Democratic Party. Exit polls on Sunday found that 60 percent of AfD voters voted "against all other parties, "with just 34 percent voting because they strongly believed in AfD's policies".