Few incumbent parties have been re-elected in Europe since the credit crunch hit almost exactly five years ago. Yet Germany's Christian Democrats have not just hung on to office but, extraordinarily, increased their share of the vote.
The Chancellor deserves her victory. Without any fuss, she got on with making her country more competitive and wealthier. Employment laws were freed up, spending held down, welfare reformed. In a calm, businesslike manner, Mrs Merkel achieved many of the reforms which Margaret Thatcher forced through with thunder and tumult. The eurozone as a whole is in recession, but Germany, having increased its productivity, continues to grow. German voters understood that this didn't simply happen on its own, and cast their ballots accordingly.