Merkel gets lift from big win in Bavarian poll
By Deborah Cole, AFPBERLIN--German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies scored a resounding win in a state vote Sunday, provisional results showed, giving her a boost one week ahead of a general election.
September 17, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
However the pro-business Free Democrats, junior partners in Bavaria and under Merkel in Berlin, tallied a disastrous three percent, crashing out of the regional parliament.
The results, from Germany's second-most populous region, point to a strong likelihood that Merkel will clinch a third term next Sunday.
But they also raise the prospect of a nail-biter finish to see whether she can continue her centre-right government or will have to form a “grand coalition” with her traditional rivals, the Social Democrats.
“The triumph of Christian Democrats' Bavarian sister party (CSU) belies the sizeable risks for them at the national level,” news website Spiegel Online wrote, saying that a grand coalition now looked more likely.
“The good poll results in recent weeks and now the excellent CSU result could lead many CDU voters to think it's all over (and stay home on election day). Of even more concern to the Christian Democrats is the weakness of their coalition partner.”
The conservative ruling Christian Social Union captured an absolute majority of seats in the Bavarian parliament with 48.8 percent of the votes, according to provisional results from 73 of the 90 polling districts.
Its strong victory means it can drop the FDP and govern alone.
“One Bavarian in two voted for us,” incumbent state premier Horst Seehofer told cheering supporters.
“That is a huge vote of confidence.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel drinks a dark German beer after her speech during an election campaign event of the German Christian Democratic Union in Bad Koestritz, central ...