• Germany edition
 
German Election 2013
Merkel gets lift from big win in Bavarian poll
Photo: DPA

Merkel gets lift from big win in Bavarian poll

Published: 16 Sep 2013 08:34 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Sep 2013 08:34 GMT+02:00

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies scored a resounding win in a state vote on Sunday, estimates showed, giving her a boost one week ahead of a general election.

However the pro-business Free Democrats, junior partners in Bavaria and under Merkel in Berlin, tallied a disastrous three percent, crashing out of the regional parliament.

FDP leader Philipp Rösler called the result a "bitter defeat". "But it shows now is the time to fight, dear friends," he said to applause from party supporters in Berlin. "This is a wake-up call for all liberals in Germany."

The results point to a strong likelihood that Merkel will clinch a third term next Sunday.

But they raise the prospect of a nail-biter finish to see whether she can continue her centre-right government or will have to form a "grand coalition" with her traditional rivals, the Social Democrats.

"The triumph of Christian Democrats' Bavarian sister party (CSU) belies the sizeable risks for them at the national level," news website Spiegel Online wrote, saying that a grand coalition now looked more likely.

"The good poll results in recent weeks and now the excellent CSU result could lead many CDU voters to think it's all over (and stay home on election day). Of even more concern to the Christian Democrats is the weakness of their coalition partner."

The conservative ruling Christian Social Union captured an absolute majority of seats in the Bavarian parliament with 49 percent of the vote, according to estimates on public television.

Its outsized victory means it can drop the FDP and govern alone.

"One Bavarian in two voted for us," incumbent state premier Horst Seehöfer told cheering supporters. "That is a huge vote of confidence."

Merkel campaigned hard in the state's world-famous beer tents, pointing out that a big win in Bavaria would lend momentum to her bid for another term at the helm of Europe's top economic power.

National polls give Merkel's conservatives an around 14-point lead over the main opposition Social Democrats (SPD), who scored about 21 percent in Bavaria, historically a conservative state.

However Merkel's chief election rival, Peer Steinbrück of the SPD, took heart from the Free Democrats' catastrophe.

"This is the 13th state election in a row in which the centre-right love match failed to win," he told public television. "There is a good chance that this will also happen on the federal level in a week's time."

The ecologist Greens turned in a dismal 8.5 percent, in keeping with a downward trend on the national level.

The CSU has ruled Bavaria uninterrupted for 56 years with a winning strategy of "laptops and lederhosen" – high-tech business savvy coupled with proud tradition.

The CSU saw big gains from its 43 percent score at the last election in 2008, when it lost its absolute majority.

Some 9.5 million were eligible to vote in the wealthy, predominantly Catholic southern region that is home to industrial giants such as BMW, Audi and Siemens.

Pollsters said the poor showing in Bavaria by the Free Democrats could in fact give them a boost in the September 22nd general election.

Voters who would like to see the Merkel alliance continue and who are concerned about the FDP's poor showing in Bavaria might now want to give votes to the party, dragging on the conservatives' own score.

That prospect led many Christian Democrats to warn any "pity" campaign for the FDP.

"The FDP will be fine on its own – stay cool, don't give away our votes," federal environment minister Peter Altmaier wrote on Twitter.   

Merkel led a left-right grand coalition during her first four-year term. At the last election in 2009, a thumping 14.6-percent result for the Free Democrats allowed Merkel to form a government with the conservatives' traditional allies.

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Minister's jet grounded twice in a month
Foreign Minister Steinmeier reboards his plane after the delay. Photo: DPA

Minister's jet grounded twice in a month

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had to wait for two hours on a runway on Wednesday night due to a technical glitch on his plane - the second problem the jet has had in a month. READ () »

German of the Week
'It's important people are confronted with cancer'
Photo: Marina Proksch-Park

'It's important people are confronted with cancer'

Images of children with cancer often evoke weakness and defeat. But Marina Proksch-Park shows them enjoying life. The photographer who has sparked an online campaign with her pictures is The Local's German of the Week. READ () »

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo
Yasar Calik. Photo: Facebook/Yasar Calik

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo

A Christian Democrat (CDU) town council candidate has apologized and withdrawn campaign bags on which he had printed a new party logo where the Turkish crescent appeared inside the "C" for Christian. READ () »

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand
Lufthansa's daughter company Germanwings is one of the faster-growing budget airlines in Germany. Photo: DPA

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand

Budget airlines are expanding their range of routes from Germany but ticket prices are climbing along with them, a report from the German Aeronautics Centre (DLR) revealed on Thursday. READ () »

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened
Bernie Ecclestone with his lawyers in a Munich court on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened

UPDATE: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in Germany on Thursday, denying charges of bribery that threaten to land the British billionaire in jail. READ () »

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'
Photo: DPA

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'

A revamped version of European student exchange programme Erasmus officially launched in Berlin on Thursday with Germany's education minister praising the scheme as a Europe-wide “success story”. READ () »

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid
Photo: DPA

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid

A German couple has lost their legal fight to get a refund for a Turkish holiday which they said was ruined by the calls to prayer from a nearby mosque. It is just one of a series of court claims by picky German tourists. READ () »

Germany halts arms sales to Russia
Russian troops surround a Ukrainian base in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany halts arms sales to Russia

Germany has stopped selling arms to Russia due to the current “political situation”, according to reports on Thursday. The sale of military equipment to Russia by German firms has been criticized by the country’s Nato allies. READ () »

Truck kills man lying in middle of road
Photo: DPA

Truck kills man lying in middle of road

Police were searching for witnesses on Wednesday morning following a mysterious road accident in which a 25-year-old man was killed as he lay in the middle of the road. READ () »

Where are Germany's smartest towns?
Germany's cleverest town. Photo: DPA

Where are Germany's smartest towns?

A brain training website released scores on Wednesday showing which German towns performed best and worst in a range of cognitive tests - with some surprising results. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Photo: DPA
National
Girls find live ammunition in Easter bonfire
Photo: Facebook/screenshot
Berlin
Germany's most viral advert for an apartment?
Gallery
11 things you need to know about German beer
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,077
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd