[QODLink]
Europe
Germany's CDU suffers losses in regional poll
Opposition Social Democrats celebrate gains over conservatives in Chancellor Merkel's home state.
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2011 19:13
Merkel's Christian Democrats have already lost control of two states to the Social Democrats this year  [GALLO/GETTY]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party has suffered an electoral setback in her home state.

Sunday's election results in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern were the worst ever for Merkel's Christian Democrats, which fell to 24 per cent from 28.8 per cent in 2006, according to a TV projection.

The setback was the latest in a string of poor election results in 2011 for conservatives under fire over their handling of the eurozone crisis.

CDU's partner in the national government, the Free Democratic Party, was set to score just three per cent - losing its seats in the state legislature.

According to exit polls released by TV channel ARD, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) was the
strongest party, with 37 per cent of the vote, a significant gain on their 2006 performance of 30.2 per cent.

The third-strongest party was the far-left Linke, with 17 per cent.

The far-right National Democratic Party,  which has historically done well in the state that has an unemployment rate nearly twice as high as the national average, also lost support.

The CDU has slumped in national polls and already been punished in five regional elections this year, losing control of two states to the SPD.

The poor poll showing was a personal setback for Merkel, two years before federal elections.

Merkel, whose parliamentary constituency is in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, had campaigned heavily there with nine public appearances.

The region, home to 1.6 million, has long been one of Germany's most economically depressed, with unemployment levels at 12 per cent - more than triple the jobless rate in southern Germany.

Wages in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are the lowest in Germany and even below European Union averages, while the population has shrunk since reunification as the region's East German-era industries collapsed.

Merkel's coalition faces a difficult vote on the eurozone bailout on September 29 and there are already
fears that not enough coalition deputies will back Merkel.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.