Germany’s Greens are celebrating as they beat the ruling Christian Democrats into third place in Bremen state elections, according to exit polls.
It is the first time the CDU has ever been behind the ecologists, who are enjoying a surge across the country at the moment.
The Social Democrats (SPD) retained control in Germany’s smallest state, as had been widely predicted.
If confirmed, the result will not have any bearing on the make up of the Bundesrat, Germany’s upper house of parliament where the CDU lacks a majority.
But this is the fifth regional election defeat in a row for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, which is heading for its lowest rating in Bremen since 1959.
And that despite falling unemployment and a three per cent economic growth forecast for a second year running.