Scholz's party soundly beaten in Schleswig-Holstein vote

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Scholz's party soundly beaten in Schleswig-Holstein vote
Daniel Günther, Minister President and CDU top candidate, waits to cast his vote outside the Stadtwerke Eckernförde polling station. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marcus Brandt

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's SPD suffered a stinging defeat at regional elections on Sunday, with the opposition conservatives securing a thumping win in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein a week before a bigger test.


The Social Democrats saw their vote share diminish to around 16 percent from 27.3 percent in the last election in 2017, exit polls by national broadcasters showed.


They were overtaken by the Greens, who were in second place with between 17-19 percent, after the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), who were comfortably in the lead with 41-42 percent, the polls showed.

The CDU's Daniel Günther was therefore poised for a second term as the state premier. The northern state bordering Denmark is one of the smallest in Germany's 16 regions, but both the CDU and the SPD were hoping for momentum to carry them into next Sunday's regional election in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

A far bigger prize, NRW is Germany's most populous state, and currently in the hands of the CDU, although surveys show the SPD running neck and neck.

A win in NRW would give a major boost to Scholz, who has been under fire domestically over what critics deem to be a stuttering response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Some 65 percent of Germans said they did not find Scholz to be a strong leader, a poll commissioned by Der Spiegel in mid-April found.

READ ALSO: ‘Too little, too late’: Scholz under fire for inaction on Ukraine


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