Merkel party down in state poll, anti-euro party may take seats
German Chancellor Angela Merkel`s conservatives suffered heavy losses in Hamburg city-state elections Sunday, where an anti-euro party also looked set to enter parliament.
Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel`s conservatives suffered heavy losses in Hamburg city-state elections Sunday, where an anti-euro party also looked set to enter parliament.
The centre-left Social Democrats easily won the election in their traditional northern stronghold, as expected, after an election campaign fought on local issues.
The anti-euro party Alternative for Germany (AfD) won around five percent according to early exit polls which, if confirmed, would see them narrowly enter their fourth state parliament.
The two-year-old AfD is already represented in three eastern German state assemblies and the European Parliament.
Merkel`s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won only about 16 percent, their worst-ever Hamburg result and one of their lowest nationwide, against about 47 percent for the Social Democrats (SPD), public broadcasters projected.
The strong SPD result was seen as a reflection of the popularity of incumbent Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz, 56, who has held an absolute majority since 2011.
Merkel, currently in her third term, regularly polls as Germany`s most popular politician, and her CDU retains a solid lead in polls nationwide.
The pro-business party the Free Democrats also made a comeback, scoring seven percent in Hamburg, after their party failed to make the five-percent hurdle for seats in 2013 national elections.