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Germany's left has more to lose from the AfD than Merkel

"Holding your course pays off!" The Social Democratic Party's Facebook post following Sunday's victory in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania echoed the pitch the party had made throughout the election campaign - their candidate Erwin Sellering, the northeastern state's premier, would offer much-needed stability in uncertain times.

The SPD duly won over 30 percent of the vote and will almost certainly continue its coalition government with the center-right Christian Democratic Union in the state.

But the victory party was tinged with relief - and fear. While international headlines have been feverishly reporting Chancellor Angela Merkel's defeat in her home state, the left half of Germany's political spectrum - which usually counts eastern Germany as a stronghold - also suffered significant losses at the hands of the insurgent Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Highs for the SPD

Despite an increased turnout on the last Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania election (61 percent as opposed to 51 percent in 2011), all the major parties in the state lost a share of their vote. The SPD, the CDU, the Left, and the Greens dropped between four and five percentage points each - a result that of course had a more devastating effect on the latter two, as they were smaller parties to begin with.

by Zwackus on Thu Sep 8th, 2016 at 12:55:46 AM EST

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