Things not looking good for Merkel, after signing up to the Greece bailout.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, was facing a bruising defeat on Sunday in a critical federal state election, as the polls closed in a fiercely fought race in North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state in Germany.
Exit polls predicted a victory for the “red-green” alliance of Social Democrats and Greens over Ms Merkel’s “black-yellow” coalition of Christian Democrats and Free Democrats. The result, if confirmed, would give the red-green combination just enough seats to form a stable government, according to the poll on the ZDF television channel.
An interesting and timely case-study in PR, if ever there was one. As I understand it, the black-yellow coalition is the equivalent of a Lib/Con coalition.
If the CDU does as badly as the exit polls suggest, it could fuel inner party criticism of the chancellor from conservatives, who believe she has taken the party too far into the centre ground of German politics.
I’ll be keeping my eye on that.