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Scholz's coalition counts cost of poll losses

Far right gains

09 October, 14:02

(ANSA-AFP) - FRANKFURT AM MAIN, OCT 9 - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's beleaguered coalition was counting the cost Monday of heavy losses at two state elections halfway into its term, that also saw the far right make strong gains. All three parties in the coalition -- Scholz's centre-left SPD, the Greens and the liberal FDP -- saw support fall Sunday in southern Bavaria, the country's biggest state, and western Hesse, according to vote projections. The main conservative opposition won in both polls, as expected, while the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) gained more ground, causing fresh concern about their growing appeal. Nearly 14 million people were eligible to vote in the states, almost one in five of Germany's electorate. The polls were seen as a crucial indicator of the population's mood, with surging immigration and economic woes among key topics. Two years after coming to power, the polls were a kind of "interim report card" for Scholz's coalition, news weekly Der Spiegel said in a commentary. "The results are disastrous," it went on.
    "The coalition needs a reset if it wants to be re-elected in two years." For the anti-immigration AfD, the votes were the latest sign of growing momentum and showed their appeal was extending beyond their traditional strongholds in the east, observers said. (ANSA-AFP).

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