Merkel’s party slumps in two regional polls
Berlin – Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) have suffered poor results in two key regional votes seen as an indication of what might happen in September’s general election.
The CDU is on course for about a quarter of the vote in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate.
The two western states were once conservative strongholds. Merkel is due to step down as German chancellor in September, after 16 years in office.
The slump in the CDU vote comes amid anger in Germany at the slow pace of the coronavirus vaccine rollout and a mask procurement scandal.
Several conservative lawmakers have quit over allegations they received huge commissions for arranging government deals to buy face masks.
What do exit polls say?
In Baden-Württemberg the Green Party is predicted to hang on to power with 31.5 per cent of the vote, with the CDU getting 23 per cent , less than at the previous poll in 2016.
In neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) are projected to retain power with 33.5 per cent.
The CDU had led in opinion polls but is predicted to get only 25.5 per cent of the vote.
CDU Secretary-general Paul Ziemiak said it was “not a good election evening for the CDU”. (BBC)