Germany's anti-euro party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), won its first seats in a state parliament on Sunday after a vote in eastern German state Saxony, according to preliminary results.
Voters in Saxony were the first to vote in regional legislative elections since German Chancellor Angela Merkel's triumphant return for a third stint at the helm of Europe's top economy in last September's general elections.
Preliminary results showed that Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) won more than 39 percent of the vote, meaning it will need to find a new coalition partner. The CDU's current coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), failed to pass the minimum five-percent threshold to re-enter the state parliament.
The AfD won around 10 percent support, gaining a political foothold in opposition to Merkel's grip on power. The CDU has been in power in Saxony since Germany's 1990 reunification.
The Left Party and the Green party captured around 19 percent and 6 percent respectively, according to the initial results. Merkel's partners in the national grand coalition government, the Social Democrats (SPD), scored 12.5 percent.
The AfD, the newest arrival on Germany's political landscape, was set up by economics professor Bernd Lucke early last year. Only a few months after it was founded at the height of the euro debt crisis, the party narrowly missed out on entering the country's parliament in September's elections.
At the European elections in May, the AfD scored 6.5 percent of the vote in Germany and thus managed to leap into the European Parliament.