Polls open in two German states at start of election year

Polling stations have opened 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-Wuerttemberg. The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) have been gaining ground in the Rhineland-Palatinate, raising the prospects of the state’s popular SPD premier, Malu Dreyer, returning to power as head of a three-party coalition.

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