North Rhine Westphalia in snap poll
Around 13.2 million voters will vote today in Germany’s most populous state after the failure of the minority Red Green Coalition to pass a budget in March.
The coalition, between the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Alliance ‘90/The Greens has been running a minority government since the last poll in 2010.
The latest opinion polls suggest that Angela Merkel’s party, Christian Democratic Union (CDU) will do badly and the Red Green Coalition will gain an overall majority.
A poll by INFO GmbH places the SPD on 38% up from 34.5% in 2010 whilst the CDU are down to 33% from 34.6% in 2010. The Greens are slightly lower on 11%, down from 12.1% in 2010 and the CDUs federal partners, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) are on 5% down from 6.7% and on the threshold of winning seats.
Die Linke (The Left) took 5.6% and 11 seats in 2010 but are on 4% in the latest polls. That puts them below the 5% threshold and they may lose all their seats.
The Pirate Party is on 8% and are certain to gain seats in the 181 seat Landtag for the first time.
The loss of the state for the CDU will deepen the worries of Angela Merkel and might bring forward a federal election which currently will be held by October 2013.