Merkel party ahead in year`s 1st German state vote

An exit poll points to a victory for Chancellor Angela Merkel`s party in a state election in western Germany.

Berlin: An exit poll points to a victory for
Chancellor Angela Merkel`s party in a state election in
western Germany, and a disastrous performance for her partners
in the national government.

Merkel`s Christian Democrats were fighting to preserve
their 12-year hold on the governor`s office in Saarland today.

It`s the first of three state elections this year.
An ARD television exit poll showed Merkel`s party in the
lead -- more than four points ahead of Germany`s main
opposition Social Democrats.

It showed the pro-market Free Democrats -- Merkel`s
struggling partners in the national government -- slumping far
below the 5 percent support needed to win seats in the state
legislature.

The exit poll shows the upstart Pirate Party entering its
second state parliament with 8 per cent support.

PTI

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