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)
— ZDF (@ZDF) October 28, 2018
Green party members at an election party following the announcement of the results.
Bouffier is regarded as a confidant of Merkel. In light of his losses in Hesse, it is possible that the calls for Merkel to be replaced as the CDU leader will become louder yet again.
Only two weeks ago, the CDU sister party CSU and the Social Democrats suffered heavy losses in the Bavarian elections.
Nevertheless, for a long time it looked as if an alliance between these two parties would be a realistic option in Hesse, DPA reported. But in the final tail of the election campaign, the Greens, who have becoming stronger nationwide, made considerable progress.
In addition to the 66-year-old Bouffier and Hesse’s top SPD candidate Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, who had already competed in Hesse for the third time, the focus was once again on the Green top candidate and the Minister of Economics Tarek Al-Wazir.