Merkel's Bavaria ally CSU suffer 'massive losses'

  15 October 2018    Read: 1296

Angela Merkel's sister party has suffered huge losses in Bavaria's state elections, provisional results suggest, in a blow to the German chancellor, BBC reported.

The centre-right Christian Social Union (CSU) is set to lose its absolute majority in the state parliament.

The Greens look set to surge into second place and the anti-immigration AfD is on track to enter the state parliament for the first time.

The CSU has ruled Bavaria almost single-handedly since 1957.

However, it has lost support as opinion becomes polarised over issues like migration.

Party leader Horst Seehofer said it was "not a nice day", but added it was only "one side of the coin" as the vote gives "a clear mandate" allowing the CSU to form a new government.

Preliminary official results showed the CSU won about 37% of the vote, down 10 points on four years ago, with the left-leaning pro-immigration Greens just short of 18%.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) came fourth with about 10%, behind a collective of independent candidates known as the Free Voters.

Mrs Merkel's national coalition partners, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), trailed in fifth with less than 10%, their vote halved.

There is speculation that it could pull out of the German federal government in an attempt to survive as a party.

SPD leader Andrea Nahles blamed the poor performance in Bavaria on squabbling within the coalition.

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