Merkel’s CDU suffers huge blow in regional elections as Germans turn against chancellor

Angela Merkel: Political expert discusses approval rating

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Voters went to the polls on Sunday in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate to elect new local governments. The two German states were once CDU strongholds but have since fallen to the Green Party and Social Democrats (SPD). In Baden-Württemberg the Green Party is predicted to hang on to power with about 33 percent of the vote, with the CDU getting a paltry 24 percent.

This is a worse performance than when elections were last held in 2016.

The SPD are expected to comfortably retain power in Rhineland-Palatinate, having polled around 36 percent.

The CDU Secretary-general admitted that the party’s performance was deeply disappointing.

Paul Ziemiak told reporters: It was “not a good election evening for the CDU”.

Ms Merkel’s party appears to have paid the price for growing public anger over the disastrous vaccine rollout in Europe, as well as for a mask procurement scandal involving allegations against CDU politicians.

The poll results could be a harbinger for the national election in September, when Germans will elect a new federal Government.

The prospect of a coalition alliance between the Greens, the SPD and the liberal Free Democrats is now a real possibility.

Olaf Scholz, the SPD candidate for Chancellor, said the results showed a Government without either the CDU or its Bavarian sister party the CSU was very much on the cards.

He said: “A lot is possible.”

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Ms Merkel’s party has haemorrhaged support over recent months, slipping from a peak of 40 percent approval ratings last June to roughly 33 percent this month.

The German Chancellor remains popular with the public, but will not be standing for re-election in the autumn.

The CDU has yet to decide on a candidate to contest the national elections, but has said a final decision will be made in May.

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