German Chancellor Angela Merkel has "lost her aura of invincibility," German Labour Minister Andrea Nahles said according to a media report on Saturday.
Nahles said this was good news for her Social Democratic Party (SPD), which is currently in coalition with Merkel's Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).
"For the SPD this means we can confidently enter the election season next year," Nahles told the Bild daily.
The minister cited the party's recent win in a regional election in the western Rhineland-Palatinate state as proof of her party's potential to win with "strong personality and clear standing."
Merkel's CDU party suffered electoral losses in three German state elections earlier in March, amid pressure over the refugee crisis.
About 1 million asylum seekers came to Germany in 2015, partly due to Merkel's open-border approach, sparking widespread discontent and mobilizing droves of former non-voters in the regional polls.