- Angela Merkel - elections - Europe - Germany - politics
Exit polls show Merkel crashing in home state
Exit polls on Sunday suggested Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats had lost support in her home state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, marking the latest in a string of electoral setbacks this year.
AFP - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives suffered an embarrassing loss of support in elections in her home state Sunday, exit polls suggested, but they could still cling on to a share of power.
According to exit polls released by TV channel ARD, Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) mustered 24.0 percent of the vote in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, a decline on the 28.8 percent they won in 2006.
As expected, the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) was the strongest party, with 37 percent of the vote, a significant gain on their 2006 performance of 30.2 percent.
The third-strongest party was the far-left Linke, with 17 percent.
The resurgent Greens scored 8.5 percent, ensuring their representation in the regional parliament for the first time. They had previously failed to clear the five-percent hurdle required to enter the parliament.
Negotiations will now take place over possible coalition arrangements. Many analysts expect a continuation of the "grand coalition" of CDU and SPD that has governed the state since 2006.
However, a coalition of the SPD and the Linke, or even a three-way tie-up with the newly elected Greens, is also possible. The SPD has not declared which party it would rather form a coalition with.