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Merkel's party falls in regional elections in two key states as the environmental left grows

In the regional elections on March 14, held in the states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, the left achieved a significant increase in seats, hand in hand with environmentalists and socialism.

This came to the detriment of a major downfall of Merkel's CDU, which is currently undergoing a leadership shift that is moving them away from the center-right towards the center or center-left.

In addition, the conservative Alternative for Germany (AfD) suffered major declines in two regions that, while always strongholds of the left, had made significant strides.

Baden-Württemberg is one of the main strongholds of the Green Party, of radical environmental ideology, and in these elections they managed to win by slightly improving their 2016 results, consolidating themselves as the first undisputed force in the region.

The leader of the Greens in the State, Winfried Kretschmann, despite belonging to a progressive and a left-wing party, defines himself as conservative.

In fact, in Baden-Württemberg the environmental party has done so well because it adds several conservative proposals to the green agenda and, beyond strong environmental regulations, maintains a free market economy. This increasingly attracts more votes from the center-right.

The Greens rule in coalition with the CDU, but the role of Christian Democrats in regional government is diminishing.

Election results in Baden-Württemberg.

Elections results in Rhineland-Palatinate.

The state results offered some respite for the embattled Free Democratic Party (FDP),, which managed to gain over two points and take 10% in Baden-Württemberg, while maintaining its 5% in Rhineland-Palatinate. That was welcome consolidation for leader Christian Lindner, whose strategy for the pro-business party has been out and out criticism of the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The right-wing AfD was the big loser of the election with a fall of more than 5% that resulted in losing 6 seats.

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