With outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel completing her fourth and last term at the helm of Germany, her center-right bloc CDU/CSU
The country-wide popularity of Germany's Social Democrats remains low, at about 15%.
Thuringia has become the third (former East) German state where the far right has risen to the second spot.
Mainstream politicians in Germany had feared an even stronger showing of the far-right formation.
A recent extension of the German ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia excluded weapons developed jointly with Germany's infuriated