Chancellor Angela Merkel says her conservatives will do everything to make the next four years successful for Germany after what appears to be a triumphant election win.
ARD and ZDF television projections have shown a wide lead for Merkel's conservative Union bloc over challenger Peer Steinbrueck's Social Democrats.
Ms Merkel told supporters: "This is a super result."
But her coalition partners for the past four years, the pro-business Free Democrats, were in danger of losing their seats in Parliament.
That means it is uncertain who Ms Merkel can govern Germany with in a third four-year term.
Mr Steinbrueck said his party did not achieve the result it expected.
He added: "The ball is in Ms Merkel's court. She has to get herself a majority."