Saarland win for Merkel


German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won a decisive victory yesterday in the Saarland state election.

Up for grabs were the 51 seats of the Landtag of the Saarland and, with a general election taking place later this year, a win for the centre-right CDU was crucial.

The CDU ended up taking 40.7% of the vote (up 5.5%) and 24 seats whilst their main federal rivals the Social Democratic Party (SPD) dropped one per cent to retain its 17 seats. The Left (Die Linke) dropped two seats to hold seven seats whilst the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) took three seats for the first time.

Alliance ’90/The Greens lost both of their seats and the Pirate Party lost its four seats.

Although the result is a good one for the CDU Saarland is Germany’s smallest state in the south-west corner of the country. The election comes eight days after former President of the European Parliament Martin Schultz was elected leader of the SPD. There has been a sharp rise in support for the SPD in recent weeks and the latest national polls suggest that the SPD and CDU are now neck and neck on 32% each prior to the 24th September federal election.

In Saarland there were about 800,000 electors. Two more state elections are coming up with an election in Schleswig-Holstein on 7th May where 2.3 million people will vote and then North-Rhine Westphalia on 14th May with an electorate of around 13 million.

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