Exit polls for regional elections in Hesse, Germany, suggest Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and her Social Democratic Party (SPD) partners have been hammered at the ballot box.
Chancellor Merkel’s party's projected to be down around 10%, as are the left-liberal SPD — traditionally the rivals of the supposedly ‘centre-right’ CDU but currently working with them in a so-called ‘grand coalition’ after both parties haemorrhaged support in the first federal election since the onset of the migrant crisis in 2015.
The anti-mass migration, eurosceptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) are thought to have broken through with around 12% of the vote, roughly in line with their results in other recent German elections — but the main winners appear to be the far-left Greens, who've thought to have almost doubled their support to just shy of 20%
A left coalition between the Greens, the SPD and Die Linke (The Left) would be equally strong — although possibly more unwieldy — as would a CDU/SPD coalition, that would mirror the arrangements at the federal level — although it could prove unpopular with voters, having the appearance of a so-called ‘losers’ coalition’.
The most likely configuration for an outright majority would bring the libertarian-leaning Free Democratic Party (FDP) — that often plays kingmaker after German elections and appears to have modestly increased its vote share — into the existing CDU/Green coalition.
This was attempted at the federal level without success in 2017, however and the same obstacles to a working partnership could rear their heads in Hesse..
|Exit poll of possible coalition governments that can be created|