Germany’s Social Democrats have dealt a crushing defeat on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats in a regional election.
The outcome will make it harder for her coalition to pass laws.
The rout in the city of Hamburg was her party’s worst post-war result and will cost the CDU three seats in the upper house of parliament.
Olaf Scholz, SPD Hamburg mayor-elect, told his supporters: “Many people have given us and myself, their trust. I am taking this very seriously. But it also means that we must keep our promises.”
According to analysts the CDU lost out because their candidate was unpopular and ran a bad campaign rather than any reflection of national political issues. Their candidate, Christoph Ahlhaus, told his supporters that he took full responsibility for the defeat.
But the drubbing in Hamburg will also send a signal to voters before other state elections especially in the significant Badem-Wuerttemberg region where her CDU could again lose power.