Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chances of winning this week’s German general election were given a major boost last night after her Bavarian conservative allies won an overwhelming victory in a key poll in the country’s richest state
First poll results showed the Christian Social Union CSU, the Bavarian sister party to Ms Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats, had secured 49 percent of the vote and regained the absolute parliamentary majority it was forced to abandon in 2008 elections.
“We are back !” exclaimed Horst Seehofer, Bavarian’s 64-year-old CSU Prime Minister who had campaigned vigorously for an outright victory. “The result is a following wind for us,” said Hermann Grohe – a spokesman for Ms Merkel’s party
However the CSU’s liberal Free Democrat coalition partners were ousted from the Bavarian parliament after obtaining just 3 percent of the vote. The crushing liberal defeat has implications for Ms Merkel as her conservatives share government with the party in Berlin.
A Free Democrat defeat in next week’s general election would almost certainly force Ms Merkel to form a grand coalition government with the opposition Social Democrats.
Phillip Rosler, the liberal leader pledged to redouble the party’s efforts to re enter parliament in Sunday’s general election. Opinion polls indicate that the liberals chances of securing the necessary 5 percent of the vote to win power remain uncertain.