Merkel's opposition in "shock" after third German state election loss

 
Helen Cahill
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GERMANY-POLITICS-VOTE
Merkel has been in power in Germany for 11 years (Source: Getty)

German media is asking whether Merkel has already dealt a knock-out blow to her opposition party, the Social Democrat party (SPD), in the run-up to the country's national election.

Yesterday, Merkel's CDU won a regional election in Germany's most populous state, her third state election win in a row. North-Rhine Westphalia was previously a stronghold for the SPD.

Read more: Merkel's mettle tested in German state election ahead of nationwide vote

Germany's best-selling newspaper Bild labelled the SPD loss as a "fiasco" and said the party had fallen into a "depression".

The SPD received a boost in the polls when Martin Schulz, former leader of the European parliament, became its head. But, its third election loss has left the party in "shock", German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine said.

Merkel's CDU increased its vote share in North Rhine-Westphalia by 6.7 per cent, and the SPD had its share trimmed by 7.9 per cent. The poll was the final regional vote before the general election in September.

GERMANY-POLITICS-VOTE
Martin Schulz gives a press conference after the state election result in North-Rhine Westphalia (Source: Getty)

Now, the German media are speculating that Schulz has already lost the general election. Yesterday, he admitted to the media he had had a "difficult day", but insisted there was still a long way to go before the country votes.

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