Crushing Bavaria poll yells danger for SPD
The main opposition were left reeling on Friday by a poll predicting a crushing defeat in the Bavarian state election, which comes just a week before the national election.
Bavarians will vote in the new regional parliament on September 15, just a week before national elections will see whether Chancellor Angela Merkel hangs on for a third term, or if Social Democrat (SPD) challenger Peer Steinbrück pushes her off the top spot.
Yet if the outcome of the Bavarian election has any bearing on the national result, a leadership change doesn't seem likely, the Tagesspiegel newspaper suggested on Thursday.
The latest regional poll predicted the SPD opposition would scrape just 18 percent of the vote in the wealthy southern state.
The state has long been dominated by the Christian Social Union (CSU) - Bavarian sister party of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), currently in a coalition with the Free Democratic Party (FDP).
But the poll suggested the CSU could muster enough seats to rule alone - the 47 percent of votes predicted would be enough to do that.
Even if the opposition were to work together, they would only be able to gather 41 percent, not enough to challenge the mighty CSU, the poll suggested.
The worst news came for current national junior coalition partners the Free Democrats (FDP), which could be chucked out of Bavaria altogether if they don't improve on their predicted 3 percent of the vote - a result which would see them fail to clear the 5 percent hurdle needed to enter parliament.
The poll, conducted by Infratest-Dimap for regional broadcaster Bayerisches Fernsehen, surveyed 1,004 Bavarian voters between 11 and 15th July.