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Merkel suffers heavy losses in Hesse elections: exit poll

CDU ministers in Hesse after the results are announced. Photo: DPA

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party suffered heavy losses in Sunday's regional election in Hesse state, according to an exit poll.

The CDU remained the largest party, but lost around 10 percentage points to score 28 percent of the vote, public broadcaster ZDF reported, while junior federal government partners the Social Democrats (SPD) shed almost 11 points to land on just 20 percent.

ZDF-#Prognose zur Landtagswahl in Hessen. (Stand 18:00 Uhr)

CDU 27,0%,
SPD 20,0%,
Grüne 20,0%,
FDP 7,0%,
Linke 6,5%,
AfD 13,0%,
Andere 6,5%#hessenwahl2018 #ltwhe18

— ZDF (@ZDF) October 28, 2018

Green party members at an election party following the announcement of the results.

As in Bavaria, the CDU/CSU and SPD suffered massive losses in the Hesse state elections.

Prime Minister Volker Bouffier's CDU remained the strongest party on Sunday, but according to forecasts by ARD and ZDF, the party achieved its worst result in the state in more than 50 years. The SPD also received its worst result ever in Hesse.

The big election winners are the Greens, who scored their best results so far in a Hesse election, and the Alternative for Germany (AfD).

The right-wing populists moved into the state parliament for the first time and are now represented in all 16 state parliaments.

The Free Democrats (FDP) and Die Linke (Left Party) also remain in the federal state parliament in Hesse's capital of Wiesbaden. That means that Hessen has a six-party parliament for the first time.

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