According to initial exit poll results, the Social Democrats have won the regional parliamentary election in Germany’s smallest state, Bremen. Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, meanwhile, took a battering.
Exit polls conducted by German television broadcasters ARD and ZDF on Sunday evening (local time) projected a win for the Social Democrats (SPD) in the legislative election in the northern city-state of Bremen.
Despite suffering a sharp dip in Sunday's vote, the SPD still topped the poll with 32.5 percent of the ballots, the television exit polls showed.
The SPD has ruled Bremen - Germany's fifth largest industrial center - since 1946. The party looks set to lose 6.1 points, but is expected to hold just enough seats in the legislative assembly to renew its governing coalition with the Greens.
The Greens look likely to secure 15.5 percent of the vote, according to the poll.
CDU suffers, euroskeptics win seats
Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) suffered on Sunday, with projections indicating the CDU would win only 23 percent of the vote.
The euroskeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) looked likely to also win seats in the legislative assembly. The AfD was projected to win between 5 and 5.2 percent of the vote, giving the party just enough percentage points to win seats in the chamber.
The AfD was founded in 2013 to oppose the eurozone bailouts for troubled states such as Greece.
The right-wing political party Bürger in Wut (Citizens in Anger) also passed the 5 percent threshold needed to win a seat in parliament.
Sunday's election in Bremen is the second and final regional poll to be held this year. In a similar line up, the SPD and Greens won the state election in Hamburg in February.
jlw/cmk (dpa, AFP, AP)