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Germany

Poll: SPD Incurs Record Losses in Saarland

Chancellor Gerhard Schröder Social Democrats (SPD) were set for a routing on Sunday, as voters in the western state of Saarland cast ballots for their regional parliament. Premier Peter Mueller's Christian Democratic party was expected to again achieve an absolute majority, with 48.5 percent of the vote, a poll carried out for German public broadcaster ARD forecast early Sunday evening. The SPD would lose around 15 percent, falling to 30.5 percent, one of their worst election results in the state. On-going protests over the federal government's social welfare and labor market reforms and opposition from former SPD head Oskar Lafontaine, who comes from the state, made campaigning there an uphill battle for Schröder's party.