Support for the FDP fell to 3 percent in Bavarian regional elections today from 8 percent five years ago, bouncing the party out of the state legislature, according to separate projections by public broadcasters ARD and ZDF.
“This is without a doubt a serious defeat for the FDP,” FDP head Philipp Roesler told reporters in televised remarks. “But from now it’s about Germany. This result is a wake-up call to all liberals in Germany”
Merkel, who has guided Europe’s largest economy through the euro-area debt crisis, is seeking a third term on Sept. 22 and says her preference would be to extend her second-term coalition with the Free Democrats. If replicated at the national level, an FDP collapse might force Merkel to ally with the Social Democrats, the main opposition party.
At the same time, Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc includes the Bavaria-based Christian Social Union, which gained voter share and won an absolute majority in the state’s legislature, according to the projections.
The vote in Bavaria “gives us hope that this momentum will help re-elect Angela Merkel,” Armin Laschet, a deputy chairman of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, said on ARD television. “The FDP has traditionally been weak in Bavaria.”
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