Exit polls show Angela Merkel’s party could lose power in Berlin
The win comes a fortnight after it pushed the chancellor’s CDU conservatives into third place in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, her home state.
Michael Grosse-Broemer, a senior CDU lawmaker, acknowledged the abysmal result.
He said: “There is no question. We didn’t get a good result in Berlin today.”
But that is likely to mean the SPD ditches its coalition with the CDU, to instead team up with the Green Party and the hard-left Die Linke, who both won a predicted 27 per cent of the vote.
According to the predicted result, a coalition between the SPD and the CDU would only gain 66 seats, well below the 75 needed to form a majority.
In total there are 149 seats up for grabs.
While not a wipe out for Merkel’s CDU, the fact that the anti-EU, anti-immigrant and anti-refugee AfD party could score such a high percentage of the poll in multi-cultural and ‘hip’ Berlin is an indication of how far Merkel has alienated voters with her refusal to change direction on the migrant issue.
The CSU’s (Christian Social Union) Bavarian finance minister Markus Soeder called the result the “second massive wake up call”.
He added: “A long-term and massive loss in trust among traditional voters threatens the conservative bloc.”
Now it will sit in the parliament of the nation’s capital as it mulls its strategy to get into the national legislature in the general election due to be held in the autumn of 2017.
Georg Pazderski, AfD’s leading candidate in the Berlin elections, said the result was a sign of things to come.
Alternative for Germany (AfD) party scored 11.5 percent of the vote according to exit polls
Some feel provoked
“The Great Coalition has been voted out, not yet in the federal government but that will happen next year.”
More than 70,000 of the 1.2 million asylum seekers welcomed into Germany by Mrs Merkel came to Berlin. Many of them are still in shelters spread out across the capital.
Merkel has been criticised for welcoming asylum seekers in Berlin
On Saturday she announced plans to jettison her “we can do this” mantra about accommodating refugees as her poll ratings continue to slump.
“It’s become a simple slogan, an almost meaningless formula,” she told a German newspaper, adding: “Some feel provoked by the expression which of course was not the idea.”
Her CDU served as junior coalition partners to the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) of Mayor Michael Mueller in Berlin. But that is unlikely to continue.
Overall voter turnout is predicted at 66 per cent, and marked differences have emerged between west Berlin and the former soviet east Berlin.
Exit polls showed the CDU gained 21 per cent of the vote in the east, while just 13.5 per cent voted for them in the west.
The AfD are estimated to have won 14 per cent of the vote in the former soviet bloc, with only 9.5 per cent voting for them in the western part.