All the attention remains on German politics.
Merkel had earlier informed her centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) that she would not stand again to be the party chairman at a congress in December to make way for new leadership. "I am grateful for the time she has been there, but it might be time for something new", Marc Ossege told Reuters.
The shock move started a race within her party to find a successor.
Mrs Merkel suffered a huge blow in recent regional election results and described the numbers in Heese as "disappointing" and "bitter", before she admitted she was "responsible" for the disastrous results.
Her CDU party was severely weakened in elections in the state of Hesse on Sunday, the latest poor performance by parties in her coalition government.
Taxi for Angela Merkel? Merkel's CDU party narrowly finished in first place, while suffering an 11-point drop from the last election in 2013. It received 12 percent of the votes in Hesse on Sunday, and now holds parliamentary seats in every single German state. We would now watch the situation closely, how it would unfold.
"This may be one reason why Merkel sticks around a bit longer", Campbell said.
But at home, even a change-averse electorate has started to grow tired of the leader dubbed "Mutti" (Mummy) and the cautious and glacial style of consensus politics her coalition government is now associated with. She faced a further crisis over the summer, when her Bavarian coalition partners threatened to pull out unless she pushed for stricter policies on immigration at the European Union level.
After the vote, Josef Joffe, publisher-editor of Die Zeit magazine, said Merkel's ruling coalition had "lost the confidence of the electorate".
She said the SPD would now propose a "discussion paper" in Berlin demanding concrete progress on key issues by next October, including pension rights and better childcare, before deciding whether to remain in the coalition.
"There is no obvious challenger", Campbell said, "but Merkel may have to leave sooner than she expected and on terms chosen by her party, not her".
There is precedent for the chancellor not leading his or her party.
After Bavaria, the voters punished CDU and their coalition partners during yesterday's elections in Hessen, in the wake of the many months of internal strife.
Under Merkel, the CDU adopted or accepted liberal positions on immigration, same-sex marriage and phasing out nuclear power plants - even though some of those stances were later reversed. There are some politicians in the CDU, I have named two - [the prime minister of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin] Lashet and [the prime minister of the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Daniel] Guenther - if they really follow in Merkel's footsteps, it will be just a change in name. Ms. Kramp-Karrenbauer, known as AKK within the CDU, led Saarland as premier for the past seven years.
Despite stepping down from her role as chairwoman of the Christian Democrats, Merkel maintains that she will remain as chancellor.
"Merkel is resigning from the wrong post". Merkel's weakness at home may limit her capacity to lead in the EU at a time when the bloc is dealing with Brexit, a budget crisis in Italy and the prospect of populist parties making gains at European parliament elections next May.
"Rather than outright instability in Germany and Europe, it simply means a continuation of the current leadership vacuum".