While Social Democrat Stephan Weil celebrates a narrow victory in Lower Saxony, it is a cause for concern for German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the lead up to a national election in September.
Merkel personally campaigned for her CDU party’s candidate David McAllister, the incumbent leader of Lower Saxony’s regional government.
But Weil clinched it by a tiny margin, with the help of the green party, saying: “I am looking forward to five years of a red-green coalition.”
But, on the plus side for the Chancellor, her CDU coalition partners, the FDP, actually did better than expected, winning 10% of the party votes.
Results in this region are viewed by experts as an indicator of how the general election may go, so the tight finish points to the possibility of a messy result in September’s national vote.