German state election deals blow to Angela Merkel's party
Voters in North Rhine-Westphalia give opposition parties enough support to form a governing coalition. The chancellor's Christian Democrats receive about 26%.
By Aaron Wiener, Los Angeles Times
May 14, 2012
DUESSELDORF, Germany - Voters in Germany's most populous state dealt a decisive blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union on Sunday, preliminary results show, a potentially ominous preview of things to come for the chancellor in next year's federal elections.
Merkel's party mustered about 26% of the vote in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, a drop from 35% in 2010 and 45% in 2005, the year she took office, the results show. The opposition Social Democrats and Greens, at about 39% and more than 11%, respectively, secured the majority of seats they needed to form a governing coalition.