German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party were left disappointed this evening, after the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party gained a surge of new voters in the state elections.
Based on exit polls, AfD managed to obtain seats in all three of the state assemblies – Saxony-Anhalt, Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Wurttemberg – holding an election today, while support for CDU looks likely to have slipped back in all of the regions.
Merkel's CDU holds the largest number of seats in just one of the three, Saxony-Anhalt, where AfD also managed to win roughly a quarter of the vote.
The contender party's anti-immigration rhetoric is thought to appeal to many of those who have been left disillusioned by Merkel's more green light approach to the migrant crisis.
However, the pro-business liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) looks likely to have also made gains across all three assemblies, albeit smaller ones than those made by AfD.