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Merkel party in German state poll disaster


BERLIN (AFP) – Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives lost power in their German heartland after nearly six decades, initial poll results showed Sunday, with the Greens likely to lead their first state government.

Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) have ruled Baden-Wuerttemberg since 1953, but anger over her nuclear policy in light of the Japan crisis as well as decisions on Libya and the euro drove away voters in the run-up to the poll.

The anti-nuclear Greens claimed about 24 percent of the vote -- about 12 point higher than five years ago -- and were likely to form a coalition with the Social Democrats, who garnered about 23 percent in the rich state.

The online service of newsweekly Der Spiegel called the outcome for the two parties, based on preliminary results released on public television, a "sensation".


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