The Left see themselves as a force to be reckoned with after their success in the German election.
The group of former communists and leftists secured around 12 percent of the vote and pushed their number of seats up by more than 20 to 76. Their leaders say they have replaced the Social Democrats as the voice of the left in the country. The Greens are also celebrating a new strength in parliament. In 2005 they had 51 members in the chamber, now it is 68. It was a profitable night for smaller parties. Analysts say the drift from the centre reflects a disillusionment with the traditional powerhouses of German politics. For the Social Democrats it is a time for taking stock. Their share of the vote plunged resulting in their worst election since the second world war.