Chancellor Merkel’s sister party the CSU has swept to victory in regional elections in Bavaria, according to exit polls.
Led by Horst Seehofer, the CSU has regained the absolute majority it lost in 2008 and gives a show of strength for the chancellor a week before Germany goes to the polls.
According to projections, the CSU has won 49 percent , the centre-left SPD are at 21 percent – slightly better than in the 2008 elections – and their Green partners at 8.5 percent.
The pro-business Free Democrats FDP party slumped to just three percent, falling short of the five percent needed to get any seats.
This sends a worrying message to Chancellor Merkel. Her CDU party are currently in a coalition with the FDP and she will want to avoid turning to the opposition SPD.
It means conservative voters may give their second vote to the FDP in the elections on September 22 to prevent the SPD becoming a coalition partner. However this would potentially weaken the share of votes for Merkel’s CDU.