Exit polls for the vote in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern gave Mrs Merkel's Christian Democrats just 24 per cent of the vote, down from the 28 per cent they garnered in the last vote in 2006. Adding to her woe was the performance of the Free Democrats, her coalition allies, who could be wiped out of the regional assembly, with just 3.6 per cent of the vote.Coalition at Risk
If the results stand, the Christian Democrats face the unpleasant possibility of being ousted from their current state coalition with the Social Democrats. Exit polls gave the left-wing party 37.7 per cent, and it could decide to strike an alliance with the Left Party or the Greens instead of maintaining the coalition.
To lose on her home turf will come as an acute embarrassment to Mrs Merkel.
She made nine visits to the state of 1.4 million people in the lead up to the election, and the defeat will raise question marks over her credibility and leadership.
Before the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern vote, the Christian Democrats had already suffered a series of humiliating pummellings in five regional elections this year. In March the party lost control of the prosperous state of Baden-Wurttemberg for the first time in 60 years after the Social Democrats and a resurgent Green Party pushed them into a lowly third place.
The Financial Times reports Merkel suffers blow in regional election
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, suffered a blow on Sunday as the parties underpinning her national government were on course for big losses in a regional vote in the Baltic Sea state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.Voters have clearly had enough of Merkel's Eurozone bailout policies. Whether she has the votes to ram through expansion of the EFSF remains to be seen.
Exit polls published by ARD, the broadcaster, shortly after voting closed suggested that Ms Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats faced their worst ever result in the state, with the Free Democrats likely to be kicked out of parliament.
Social Democrats and Greens, the main opposition parties and potential partners in government at national level, gained strongly, although a so-called red-green coalition did not look likely in Mecklenburg.
Manuela Schwesig, a leading Social Democrat and the state’s social affairs minister, said the vote gave Erwin Sellering, the state premier, “a clear mandate” to continue governing – though she did not say with which partner.
As noted yesterday, Two-Thirds of Germans Oppose Expanding EFSF, Believe Merkel has "Lost Grip" on Euro Crisis.
Today voters took it out on her at the polls. Merkel's only concern now is her legacy. She does not want a breakup of the Eurozone on her watch.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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