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Merkel's Bavarian sister party bleeding support before pivotal poll

Europe
11.10.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Munich (dpa) - A poll released three days ahead of a pivotal election in the southern German state of Bavaria shows the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) - which held an absolute majority for decades - falling below 33 per cent of the vote.

The poll, conducted by research institute Civey and published by Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper and Spiegel magazine, shows the CSU at 32.9 per cent of the vote, with the environmentalist Greens coming in second with an 18.5-per-cent vote share.

For the first time in its history, the CSU appears poised to fall below the 40-per-cent mark.

At the federal level, the CSU sits with Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the Bundestag. By agreement, the CDU does not field candidates in Bavaria.

The CSU‘s decline comes amid a surge in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which according to the Civey poll is set to capture 12.8 per cent of the vote in the state that has borne the brunt of the refugee crisis due to its southern border with Austria.

The Civey poll shows the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) - who are in government with Merkel‘ conservative bloc at the national level - as the fourth-strongest party in the state with 11 per cent of the vote.

The poll is being interpreted as a referendum on the CSU‘s role in national politics.

CSU chief Horst Seehofer, who serves as the federal interior minister, nearly brought down Merkel‘s coalition earlier this year with his insistence on turning away refugees at the border.

 

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