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Merkel's party punished by voters in Hamburg state election

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on February 24, 2020 - Duration: 01:31s

Merkel's party punished by voters in Hamburg state election

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) won most support in a vote in the northern city of Hamburg on Sunday and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives came third in the first electoral test since her protegee gave up ambitions for the top job.

Freddy Tennyson reports.

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Merkel's party punished by voters in Hamburg state election

Voters in state elections in Hamburg have sent a clear signal to Berlin.

Angela Merkel's CDU party were handed their worst-ever result in the Northern city on Sunday (February 23).

Hamburg CDU leader Marcus Weinberg looked downbeat as the results came in - They scraped just 11.2% of the vote.

Sunday's election came in the wake of the decision to step aside by the national party leader and Merkel's protégée Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

That move came after an eastern branch of the party voted with the AfD to install a state premier from a third party against her wishes, thus breaking a postwar consensus among the main parties not to work with the far-right.

The AfD just scraped into the Hamburg parliament, bucking trends of increased support.

The ballot came just days after a racist gunmen shot dead 11 people - including himself - in the Germany town of Hanau.

A poll released in a German newspaper found that 60% of respondents believed that the party were partly responsible for right-wing violence in the country.

Preliminary results put the SPD, who share power with the conservatives at the national government, down from the last vote in 2015 but still by the far the biggest party in Hamburg.

Winners of the night were the Greens - who almost doubled their vote - reflecting their national strength driven by growing fears about climate change.

Many predicting a green surge in the next national election.

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