The Wall Street Journal: Merkel’s government suffers another setback in German regional election

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel and her beleaguered government suffered a new blow after both her party and its coalition partner suffered losses in Sunday’s election in one of Germany’s wealthiest states.

The poor showing in Hesse, home to Germany’s financial industry, further exposes Merkel to a potential challenge to her leadership of the Christian Democratic Union, a possible step toward replacing her as chancellor.

Merkel’s conservatives dropped to 27.2% of the vote in Hesse, while the Social Democrats, the Chancellor’s junior coalition partners in the federal government, fell to 19.6%, according to exit polls by the ZDF broadcaster. In the last election, in 2013, the parties got 38.3% and 30.7% respectively.

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