Germany’s Green Party are celebrating after ousting Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats in their heartland of Baden-Wuettemberg.
The stunning election victory in the key state, which the conservative CDU has controlled for nearly 60 years, saw the Greens double their vote.
Nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima incident in Japan was a major factor for the win. The remarkable result also saw the Greens beat Germany’s Social Democrats into second place. Nevertheless, they are now almost certain to form a coalition with their traditional allies.
Along with much anti-nuclear sentiment, plans to transform the centre of Stuttgart, the state’s capital, by building a large new railway station was another key issue. The controversial Stuttgart 21 project remains deeply unpopular with many, particularly environmentalists, and Sunday night saw further protests against the plans.