According to preliminary data, the ruling Christian Democrats have suffered a humiliating defeat, losing the key state of Baden-Württemberg.
The Merkel-led coalition of the Christian Democrats and their Free Democrat allies totaled 44.3% of the vote, while their rivals – the Green Party and the Social Democrats – garnered 47,3% of the vote. The region boasting a population of around 11 million has been ruled by the Christian Democrats since 1953.
It is noteworthy that the Greens managed to collect a record for their party number of votes. According to analysts, the main reason for the unexpected results was the unwillingness of the Merkel-led coalition to suspend operation of nuclear reactors in the wake of the quake-triggered accident at “Fukushima-1” nuclear power plant.