Germany's SPD eyes state vote win after Merkel party crisis
A leadership crisis in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party could help her Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partners and the Greens in a state vote on Sunday, the first electoral test since her protegee gave up ambitions for the top job.
Polls suggest the SPD will remain the biggest party in the election in the northern port of Hamburg, allowing them to continue their coalition with the resurgent Greens - set to see the biggest gains.
Campaigning in Germany’s second-biggest city was suspended after a far-right shooting rampage on Wednesday night left 11 people dead in the western town of Hanau but commentators expect a little direct impact on the result.
Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), in third place, may face a backlash from voters after Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer plunged her party into disarray by blowing open the race to succeed the chancellor with her decision to stand aside two weeks ago.
At least four contenders are jockeying for the CDU leadership and the party is split over how and when to make the decision. It is also unclear whether the new party chair will run as chancellor in a federal election due by Oct. 2021.
21st Feb 2020