Merkel's Party Leading in Key Regional Vote Despite Heavy Losses - Exit Poll

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While the CDU declined by about 10% in their share of the vote since the last elections, Alternative for Germany (AfD) managed to get some 12%, entering Hessen’s parliament for the first time.

According to exit polls, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is leading in the election; however, support for the party declined significantly. According to the broadcaster ARD, the CDU polled 28%, while the Social-Democratic Party (SPD) won 20%, whereas their allies from the Green party managed to garner 19.5%.

Angela Merkel’s CDU has thus lost a significant portion of the vote, dropping to 28% from 38.3% in 2013. Meanwhile, the SPD, which is currently placing second, won 20%, a decline from 30.7% in the previous election.

READ MORE: Stakes High for Merkel Gov't: German State of Hesse Holds Regional Election

At the same time, the AfD succeeded to overcome the 5% threshold, which means that the party will be represented in all the regional parliaments in Germany.

Electoral officials sort ballot papers after the conclusion of voting in the Bavarian state election in Munich, Germany - Sputnik International
German Ruling Party’s Popularity Slips Further as Greens’ Support Climbs – Poll
The polls show a change in the political landscape, which was also seen during the Bavarian election earlier this month. The sister party of the CDU, the Christian Social Union (CSU), attracted only 37% of voters in its worst result in 50 years, as the conservative party has dominated the Bavarian parliament for decades, while the AfD and Free Voters surged significantly.

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