Dutch MP Geert Wilders

Angela Merkel’s announcement of resignation as leader of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union has signaled an end to her 13 year reign as Germany’s chancellor and de facto leader of the European Union. It has also marked a victory for Germany’s populist politics, effectively claiming its biggest scalp yet.

Germany’s far right populist Alternative for Germany is now Germany’s official opposition, largely on the strength of railing against Merkel’s immigration policies. Similar gains -- or greater -- by populist parties have been made elsewhere.