Merkel's coalition heading for big defeat
ANGELA Merkel's coalition appeared to be heading for a heavy defeat in elections for her home state last night in a poll dominated by criticism of the German chancellor's handling of the eurozone crisis.
Exit polls for the vote in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern gave her Christian Democrats just 24pc of the vote, down from 28pc in 2006. Adding to her woes was the performance of the Free Democrats, her coalition allies, who could be wiped out after predictions of just 3.6pc of the vote.
Discontent in Germany has simmered over the country footing most of the bill of the eurozone bailouts, and Mrs Merkel's reputation for firm and decisive action has been eroded by her handling of the situation.
If the predictions are correct, the Christian Democrats could be snubbed by their state coalition partners, the Social Democrats. Exit polls gave the left-wing party 37.7pc and it could decide to strike an alliance with the Left Party or the Greens instead of maintaining the current coalition. (© Daily Telegraph, London)