Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eight million Germans are voting in a closely watched state election that could see Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party lose power in southern Baden-Wuerttemberg for the first time in almost six decades.

Recent polls suggest Merkel's Christian Democrats are poised to lose Sunday's ballot by a narrow margin, with the opposition Social Democrats and Greens scoring about 24 percent each and forming a coalition government in the state.

The Christian Democrats are forecast to secure about 38 percent of the vote, with their current coalition partner, the pro-business Free Democrats, just 5 percent.

Merkel's party has held power in the region around Stuttgart - one of Germany's industrial powerhouses that is home to companies such as Daimler AG - since 1953.


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