But they still fall short of claiming victory
Germany's far-right party, AfD, surged in elections in Saxony and Brandenburg over the weekend but were unable to break the status quo as the setback for the ruling parties at each state were not as bad as feared.
In Saxony, Merkel's CDU party still remain the strongest party but has seen support drop to ~32% from ~39% previously back in the 2014 election.
Meanwhile, the center-left SPD party hold their top spot in Brandenburg with support of ~26%, though down from ~32% since the previous election in 2014.
AfD made impressive gains to come in second in both states, holding ~27% support in Saxony and ~23% in Brandenburg. For AfD, the win here sees them do some "damage" to the current establishment; something similar to the populist movement across Europe.
However, falling short of victory here will allow Merkel's 'grand coalition' and the SPD party to breathe easier for a bit for the time being.