Europe

Germany will hold this year's general election on Sept. 24.

  • FILE - In this March 13, 2016 file picture Sigmar Gabriel, Vice Chancellor and Chairman of Germany's Social Democratic Party, SPD, speaks at the party's headquarters in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber,file)

    FILE - In this March 13, 2016 file picture Sigmar Gabriel, Vice Chancellor and Chairman of Germany's Social Democratic Party, SPD, speaks at the party's headquarters in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber,file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2015 file photo German Social Democratic Party (SPD) chairman Sigmar Gabriel, front,   Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, background, and Martin Schulz, then President of the European Parliament, wait for the official announcement of the result for Gabriel's reelection as SPD chairman at the Social Democratic Party convention in Berlin. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)

    FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2015 file photo German Social Democratic Party (SPD) chairman Sigmar Gabriel, front, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, background, and Martin Schulz, then President of the European Parliament, wait for the official announcement of the result for Gabriel's reelection as SPD chairman at the Social Democratic Party convention in Berlin. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this June 29, 2015 file picture Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel briefs the media  at the chancellery in Berlin. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber,file)

    FILE - In this June 29, 2015 file picture Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel briefs the media at the chancellery in Berlin. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber,file)  (The Associated Press)

Germany's head of state says this year's general election will be held Sept. 24.

German President Joachim Gauck on Tuesday announced he'd approved the Cabinet's proposed date, the last Sunday in September.

The vote is expected to see the nationalist Alternative for Germany, or AfD, enter the national parliament on a wave of anti-migrant sentiment. They're currently polling about 12 percent.

Chancellor Angela Merkel will be running for a fourth term, although it is far from certain who would join her in a coalition government if AfD takes a significant share of votes away from other parties.

Merkel's conservative bloc is currently atop the polls with about 36 percent support, followed by her current coalition partner Social Democrats with around 21 percent.