Nearly three in four Germans want Wolfgang Schaeuble to stay on as finance minister in Angela Merkel's future government, according to a poll published today.

Merkel is seeking a coalition partner after her conservatives romped to victory in Sunday's election with 42% of the vote, but fell just short of a parliamentary majority.

The chancellor and Schaeuble earned much voter admiration for their firm handling of the euro zone crisis and 72% of Germans want the 71-year-old to stay in the post he has held since 2009, according to the poll by Forsa institute.

Merkel has already had contact with the leader of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) about the possibility of a 'grand coalition'.

However, she may need to offer the SPD, which has major reservations about joining her in a repeat of their 2005-2009 coalition under Merkel, key cabinet posts including finance minister, in order to convince them.

The SPD has advocated a greater focus on reviving economic growth in the euro zone but Schaeuble signalled yesterday that Germany would not change tack in its euro zone policies.