BERLIN – The latest on Germany's local election of the central state of Hesse (all times local):
Exit polls show Chancellor Angela Merkel's leading party in a central election in the German region of Hesse, but a significant drop in support for both their conservatives and their center-left partners in the national government.
The exit polls for ARD and ZDF public television gives Merkel's Christian Democratic Union up to 28 percent support and the center-left Social Democrats 20 percent. When they last elected their state legislature in 2013, they won 38.3 and 30.7 percent, respectively.
There were gains for the Greens, who were roughly level with Social Democrats at up to 20 percent. And the far-right Alternative for Germany was on the road to enter the last of Germany's 16 state parliaments with up to 13 percent.
The election has unusually high national political significance following the Merkel's Federal Coalition.
Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel's administration has a long-term future. Germany's central region of Hesse is voting in a state election.
Sunday's election for the state legislature in Hesse, which includes Germany's financial center of Frankfurt, and the support for the country's governing parties is sliding and tensions are high in a federal coalition in office only since March.
Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union is defending its 19-year hold on Hesse, previously a stronghold of the center-left Social Democrats, the chancellor's federal coalition partners in Berlin. A disastrous result for Merkel, Germany's leader for the past 13 years.
Two weeks ago, two of the federal governing parties were battered in a state of Bavaria. That has given extra significance to the Hessen election, which is home to 6.2 million of Germany's 82 million people.
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