The conservative CSU is a regional Bavarian party, which plays an important role on the federal level as "sister party" to chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU.
The CSU traditionally has a comfortable majority of around 50 percent in Bavaria. The average age of its 147,000 members is 59, they live mainly in rural areas. CSU leaders are known for their beer-swilling populism, they embrace conservative family policies for stay-at-home moms and anti gay marriage; some are euroskeptic, and the party leadership wants foreigner drivers to pay to use German motorways. This page provides a collection of DW's content the CSU.
Armin Laschet, just elected to chair Angela Merkel's CDU party, seems little preferred by Germans as a candidate to succeed her as chancellor in September. One pollster puts him on 12% with Bavaria's Markus Söder on 43%.
The Social Democrats have elected two critics of the grand coalition with the conservative CDU/CSU to lead the party. DW's Sabine Kinkartz writes that if the duo gets its way, the Merkel government could soon be history.