Merkel’s CDU faces local election upset


Election-watchers in Germany will be analysing three separate state ballots tomorrow, for an indication of how the country itself will vote in next month’s general election. Nationally, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU is expected to win, perhaps in coalition with the Free Democrats.

But locally, there is growing support for the left. Three states are voting: Saxony, Saarland and Thuringia. Saxony is expected to stick with Merkel’s CDU, but the races in the other two are close.

The Chancellor’s personal poll ratings are high, with two-in-three German voters wanting her to win another term. Her CDU is also doing well, but has a history of blowing pre-election leads, notably in 2002 and again four years ago.

SPD leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier had been facing an ignominious defeat next month, but good results tomorrow would give his party a much-needed shot-in-the-arm. However, he may be criticised for taking the SPDtoo far to the left.

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