- Title: Victory in state vote shows Germany's Merkel on course to retain power
- Date: 15th May 2017
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (MAY 15, 2017) (REUTERS) PAN UP FACADE OF GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL'S CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS (CDU) PARTY HEADQUARTERS ARMIN LASCHET, WHO WON SUNDAY'S (MAY 14) STATE ELECTION IN NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA FOR THE CDU AND IS MOST LIKELY NEW STATE PREMIER, ARRIVING FOR ROUTINE MONDAY MORNING CDU LEADERS' MEETING LASCHET BEHIND MICROPHONES CDU FLAGS (SOUNDBITE) (German) WINNER OF SUNDAY'S STATE ELECTION IN NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA, ARMIN LASCHET, SAYING: "Being on the road during the last few days I noticed the change in mood. But of course no one could have known that in the end it would be so significant." REPORTER'S NOTEPAD LASCHET WALKING INTO BUILDING HESSE STATE PREMIER VOLKER BOUFFIER ARRIVING FOR CDU MEETING CDU LOGO ON GLASS DOOR (SOUNDBITE) (German) HESSE STATE PREMIER, VOLKER BOUFFIER, SAYING: "First of all, this was a fantastic success for Armin Laschet and the CDU in NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia), for all of us. We were extremely happy. But this is obviously no reason to become arrogant now or lean back: the Bundestag (parliament) election is more than four months away and that's a long way." SOCIAL DEMOCRAT (SPD) PARTY LEADER AND CANDIDATE FOR CHANCELLOR MARTIN SCHULZ ARRIVING AT SPD HEADQUARTERS WITH HANNELORE KRAFT, STATE PREMIER IN NRW UNTIL SUNDAY NIGHT (MAY 14) WHEN SHE LOST THE ELECTION TO LASCHET AND HIS CDU, APPLAUSE HEARD APPLAUSE TOP SHOT OF SCHULZ SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (German) SOCIAL DEMOCRAT (SPD) PARTY LEADER AND CANDIDATE FOR CHANCELLOR, MARTIN SCHULZ, SAYING: "We owe you our gratitude for your generous attitude, for the grandness with which Hannelore Kraft represented out party in Dusseldorf yesterday during this difficult hour. Hannelore, thank you very much for what you have done for us." APPLAUSE (SOUNDBITE) (German) FORMER NRW STATE PREMIER, HANNELORE KRAFT, SAYING: "As bitter as this defeat is, it is above all a request to the entire SPD up to the last member to now fight ahead of the Bundestag election. This is my request." LEADERSHIP OF ANTI-IMMIGRANT ALTERNATIVE FOR GERMANY (AFD) ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE AFTER THEIR PARTY GOT 7.4 PERCENT OF VOTES IN SUNDAY'S NRW ELECTION CAMERAS WIDE OF AFD NEWS CONFERENCE REPORTERS' HANDS (SOUNDBITE) (German) NRW'S ALTERNATIVE FOR GERMANY (AFD) CANDIDATE, MARKUS PRETZELL, SAYING: "Since there have repeatedly been debates whether the AfD would make it into to the Bundestag: I believe the 14 successive election victories, including the European election, make us pretty confident." WIDE OF AFD NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 29th May 2017 11:13
- Keywords: election state AfD SPD CDU Laschet NRW North Rhine-Westphalia
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0016GY7NEV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives defeated the ruling Social Democrats (SPD) in a key state election on Sunday (May 14), exit polls showed, boosting their hopes of retaining power in September's national vote.
Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) saw a surge in support in Germany's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), which is home to one in five German voters and has often been an indicator of national electoral trends.
The CDU won 33 percent, up from 26.3 percent in 2012, according to projections on public broadcaster ARD.
The CDU focused its campaign in NRW on attacking the SPD for failing to tackle local issues like crumbling infrastructure that causes huge traffic jams, rising crime and an underperforming education system.
Western Europe's longest-serving current leader, Merkel is seen by many in Germany and in the European Union as an experienced negotiator to guide tough talks with Britain on its exit from the bloc. She is also seen as a champion of free trade.
Merkel stood firm in the face of heated criticism at home and abroad for opening Germany's borders in 2015 to more than one million mainly Muslim asylum seekers, a measure that hurt her popularity and contributed to the rise of the nationalist party Alternative for Germany (AfD).
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