Merkel's party easily beats centre-left in state poll

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party easily won a regional election Sunday, dealing an early blow to centre-left hopes of ending her more than decade-long reign. In the Saarland state vote held six months before a general election, Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) won 40 percent against 30 percent for the Social Democrats (SPD), according to early results by public broadcasters. The result spelt a five-point boost for the CDU over the SPD, which has served as the unhappy junior partner to the conservatives in so-called grand coalitions at both the state and national levels.

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