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Merkel heading for a pasting in regional vote

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Merkel heading for a pasting in regional vote


German voters are predicted to give the Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party another big thumbs down in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern regional election.

Merkel’s centre-right CDU has been the junior coalition partner in the country’s poorest region but opinion polls suggest it might lose that position.

The leading coalition party, the centre-left social democrat SPD are predicted to increase their share of the vote, and that could put them in a position to choose another partner.

The regional governor Erwin Sellering of the SPD said: ‘Obviously it’s very exciting, the opinion polls were very good. Now the question is will they all vote, and will they vote as they said they would?’

Unemployment in Meck-Pomm, as its known in Germany, has soared to 12 per cent and those with jobs earn the lowest wages in Germany. A drubbing here would be a double blow for Merkel – her federal constituency is in the region.

The regional interior minister Lorenz Caffier of the CDU said: ‘I’ve always said that every sportsman fights to the very end to win. We’ll see everything else this evening.’

The Greens are being tipped as one a major winner, and a possible replacement for the CDU.

If they get in it would be the first time the environmental party would hold seats in all 16 German regions.

Smaller parties like the far-right wing NPD could benefit from a low turnout and commentators say the weather might conspire to keep people away from polling stations.

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