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Merkel boost from Hesse poll

Merkel boost from Hesse poll
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Voters in Germany’s western state of Hess go to the polls today in a vote which is expected to boost German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Opinion polls show Merkel ally Christian Democrat Roland Koch will looks set to win. He is not home and dry, though. Last January he ran a campaign on crime and immigration which his foes said was xenophobic and his support plunged bz 12 per cent. And if the pro-business FDP party gain enough votes in Hesse, more than two thirds of Germany’s population will be ruled by a Christian Democrat FDP alliance. The Hesse vote, which also includes the German finance capital Frankfurt, is crucial as it sets the tone for four other state polls and a federal election in September. 2009 has already been dubbed Germany’s super election year. Sunday’s election, which has been dominated by the economic crisis, is a re-run of a vote last year which ended with neither the Christian Democrats nor the Social Democrats able to form a coalition. A strong win for the Christian Democrats will boost Koch a right winger who is seen as a possible successor to Merkel