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Greens slip in German elections, poll 8.4 percent

The Green party is likely to remain in the opposition after Germany's national elections. A coalition with the Social Democrats was a long shot, but neither party pulled in enough votes.

It was always a long shot that the Greens would get the opportunity to reform the coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) that governed Germany from 1998-2005, and after polls closed in Germany's national elections on Sunday, such a coalition is more or less completely off the table.

The Greens won 8.4 percent of the poll according to early results on Sunday. Combined with the SPD's 25.6 percent showing from the early count, this is not enough to form a coalition.

The Green party – led by the deo of Katrin Göring-Eckhardt and Jürgen Trittin – had sought to improve on their result in the 2009 federal elections, where they won 10.7 percent of the vote.

"We fell short of our goal," Göring-Eckhardt said in Berlin after polls closed.

"We'll have to accept this bitter reality," added Trittin.

Watch video 02:23

DW interview with Jürgen Trittin

On the campaign trail, the Greens faced an uphill battle after it was revealed in May that that senior Greens from the 1980s argued that sexual acts between adults and children should not be punished.

It was an issue that the Greens could not shake in the campaign.

Proposed tax hikes on high-income earners did not go over well with the party's base of well-off voters, either.

The party was formed in the 1970s on a platform of pacifism, environmental activism, and opposing anti-nuclear power. However, they have softened their pacifist stance when it comes to Germany's particpation in international military campaigns, such as NATO's bombing of Kosovo in 1999.

For more information about Germany's elections, please see DW's election special page.

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