Germany’s head of state has announced that this year’s general election will be held September 24.
President Joachim Gauck announced he had approved the Cabinet’s proposed date, the last Sunday in September.
The vote is expected to see the nationalist Alternative for Germany, or AfD, enter the national parliament on a wave of anti-migrant sentiment. They are currently polling at about 12%.
Chancellor Angela Merkel will be running for a fourth term, although it is far from certain who would join her in a coalition government if AfD takes a significant share of votes away from other parties.
Mrs Merkel’s conservative bloc currently tops the polls with about 36% support, followed by her current coalition partner the Social Democrats, with around 21%.