13:28 GMT12 April 2021
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    The September general election in Germany will mark the end of Angela Merkel's chancellorship and might be influenced by the results of Sunday’s elections.

    Germans are voting in two state elections on Sunday, the outcomes of which impact each party's national standing ahead of September's vote to choose Angela Merkel's successor. 

    Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party is yet to choose their candidate, as the chancellor will not be running for a sixth term.

    Things are not looking good for the CDU in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, with the party losing public confidence in the way it's handled the vaccine rollout. A recent corruption scandal involving party MPs has also not helped. 

    The two states are the first of six to go to the polls in a year of major elections in Germany.

    In Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann is in office, a popular politician who has been in office for a decade and is  the only Green to serve as state premier in Germany. The Green Party is leading the polls in the wealthy conservative state, which is the home of auto manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. The Green party have gained 10 percentage points in nationwide polls since 2017

    In Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany’s Social-Democratic Party (SPD) has managed to maintain its lead over the CDU, partly due to the popularity of State Premier Malu Dreyer, who was re-elected five years ago in a victory over the CDU. Dreyer has been in office since 2013 and is the first woman elected as state premier in the state.

    Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Green Party, Election, Germany
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