Four graphics that explain how a far-right party won third place in Germany

Updated 9:19 AM ET, Mon September 25, 2017

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Berlin (CNN)They didn't win the biggest share of the vote, but the far-right Alternative for Germany party did manage to achieve what similar parties in the Netherlands and France failed to do -- fracture the country's political landscape.

Preliminary results suggest a huge surge in support for the AfD, putting it in third place after Germany's two biggest parties, Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union and the center-left Social Democratic Party .
The AfD, which was set up only four years ago, will become the first far-right party to enter the Bundestag since 1961.

Their vote more than doubled

Seen by many as a fledgling young party from the radical right, the AfD won just 4.7% of the vote in the last federal elections in 2013. This time around it took about 12.6%, according to preliminary official results.

They'll likely be on the political fringes

Following the exit polls, the SPD -- Merkel's coalition partner for the past four years -- immediately announced it would not join the next government and would instead go into opposition.
The party -- which saw its share of the vote decrease by more than 5% compared to 2013 -- said their poor showing indicated they had not received a mandate from the people to govern.
But the move also blocks the AfD from taking a more central opposition position in parliament, and instead looks to consign them to the political fringes of parliament.

They brought new voters to the polls

Nearly half of voters turned away from the country's two largest parties. The AfD also picked up nearly 700,000 ballots from