A shock poll has put the far-Right Alternative for Germany party (AfD) in first place ahead of regional elections in eastern Germany next week.
An AfD victory in the state of Saxony-Anhalt would be a major upset and the worst possible start to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats’ (CDU) campaign ahead of September’s general elections.
A survey by the respected pollster Insa gave the AfD a slim lead, on 26 per cent, just ahead of the CDU on 25 per cent, ahead of the June 3 regional vote.
The findings are unlikely to signal a national resurgence for the AfD — Saxony-Anhalt, in the former communist east, is something of an outlier and the party is polling badly at a national level.
But an AfD victory in the final regional elections before September’s national vote would be a bitter blow for rival parties — and particularly for the CDU, which has won the state in every election since 2002.
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