Some believe he could be Germany’s next chancellor.
Klaus Wowereit, the mayor of Berlin for a decade, is tipped to win a third term in city hall today. And a thumping victory could boost his credentials as a possible centre-left candidate to challenge Angela Merkel in the next federal election in 2013.
Way behind in the opinion polls, her conservatives look set for a drubbing in the city state. Merkel is under fire over the euro zone crisis and this would be yet more regional election humiliation for her CDU after a string of defeats this year.
In Berlin, Wowereit’s Social Democrats have ruled in alliance with the Left but they could now join forces with the Greens. The environmentalists’ popularity soared in the wake of Japan’s nuclear disaster although they now appear to have lost some ground.