Merkel's conservatives brace for state poll setback in election year

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives could be heading for a debacle in two state polls on Sunday, as Germany kicks off a year of elections that will eventually see Merkel leave the role she assumed more than 15 years ago. Polling stations opened early in the morning in the south-western German states of Baden Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate for two regional elections that could help to determine who will be Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor later this year. Recent polls show the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) badly trailing the governing Green Party in Baden-Wuertte…

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