The Wall Street Journal: Merkel’s party wins surprise victory in German regional election

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party on Sunday secured a surprisingly big victory in Germany’s northernmost state, according to initial results, dashing hopes from the rival center-left Social Democrats ahead of the national vote in September.

Merkel’s mainstream conservative Christian Democrats secured 33.0% of the vote in the western German state of Schleswig-Holstein, according to initial results published by broadcaster ARD.

The Social Democrats, which have ruled this small state sharing a border with Denmark since 2012, had hoped to emerge as the front-runner but won just 26.2% of the vote.

Despite the clear victory for the Christian Democrats, it is still unclear which party will lead the next coalition government.

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