Merkel’s party wins final state vote by big margin – exit poll

Germany’s centre right has fended off a challenge by the far right in the last regional test before national polls in September, an exit poll suggests.

The Christian Democrats (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel won 36% of the vote in the state election in Saxony-Anhalt, a former part of East Germany.

It did much better than opinion polls had predicted.

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) took 22.5% after nearly equalling the CDU in the opinion polls.

Mrs Merkel has dominated German politics as chancellor since 2005, leading an uneasy coalition with the CDU’s old leftwing political foe, the Social Democrats (SDP), after the last election in 2017.

A centrist figure, Armin Laschet, has been picked to succeed her as the CDU’s leader in the September election.

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