Having the 47-year-old Nahles literally grab power of Germany's oldest political party adds a new wild card to Berlin's political poker - and speculation about Merkel's political future.
After agreeing a deal on Wednesday the decision now goes to the party's - over 400, 000 - members who will vote in a ballot on whether they back the union. The next SPD leader hopes that seven will be her lucky number.
After four months of brinkmanship with her Social Democratic frenemies, Chancellor Angela Merkel finally has a coalition agreement.
With a €46 billion spending plan on welfare and infrastructure, the SPD has loosened Merkel's purse strings like never before. "The SPD also look set to keep control of the Foreign Ministry and the Labor Ministry".
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But now with a paucity of leaders, Nahles could be one of the SPD's last chances to rescue it from its misfortunes. There was much internal criticism of the results of the interim talks (for instance, over a suggested upper limit on how many refugees Germany would accept - a proposal so problematic that Merkel refused to put it in her own party programme), in part leading to the near-miss at January's Bonn conference.
Many young and leftist members are against the renewed so-called Grand Coalition between the SPD and the Union.
It was Schulz's second major U-turn since the September elections that ground the storied centre-left party down to just 20.5% of the vote. Her passionate speech fired up ambivalent delegates and left Schulz looking like yesterday's man.
But there was anger within the SPD ranks too. The far-right party campaigned on an anti-immigration, anti-Muslim message during the election - and clinched its role as the third-largest party in parliament by winning 94 seats.
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And while there is a misconception that the influenza vaccine causes the flu, Lilley stressed this is not true. Long-term-care facilities, such as nursing homes, have tracked 134 outbreaks of flu-like illness.
Another reason for considering her position: the SPD leadership has proven a poisoned chalice for her six predecessors.
The foreign ministry is now held by Sigmar Gabriel, who handed the Social Democrats' leadership to Schulz a year ago and has become one of Germany's most popular politicians.
"It's regrettable how lacking in respect our SPD deal with each other now", he said. In addition to the controversy over Schulz, Merkel herself has been under fire for giving key ministries to the SPD to extend her 12-year reign over Europe's biggest economy.
Paul Ziemiak, leader of the youth sing of the CDU and Christian Social Union (CSU) said the party needed to think about who would take over from Merkel, now on the bring of a fourth term.
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