Polls have closed in North Rhine-Westphalia, the largest state in Germany.
As expected, it looks like another bad outcome for federal Chancellor (PM) Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
Initial projections put the Social Democrats (SPD) on 38.8% of the vote, compared to the CDU’s 25.8%. That is a record low for the latter party, whose leader in the state immediately resigned.
It is still not clear if the vote of the Green Party will be enough to give a bare majority to coalition of the SPD and Greens. It was the minority government of these two parties that resigned after losing a budget vote, triggering this election.
The Pirate Party continues its run of success, with 6%. The Left, which was in the previous parliament, collapsed to 2.6% and thus will not have seats in the new parliament.