Chancellor Angela Merkel has claimed victory for a new center-right government in Germany's general election.

A beaming Merkel told supporters after Sunday's vote that "we have achieved something great. We have managed to achieve our election aim of a stable majority in Germany for a new government."

Projections showed that Merkel's conservatives are headed for a majority with the pro-business Free Democrats, who performed very well in the vote. That fulfills Merkel's hopes of ending her "grand coalition" with the center-left Social Democrats.

Merkel still made clear she wants to maintain her consensual approach, saying "I want to be the chancellor of all Germans."