BERLIN — Germany’s Greens are set to make major gains while the long-suffering Social Democrats are on course for a comfortable victory in a local vote in the city-state of Hamburg Sunday, according to exit polls.
The center-left SPD, which has seen its support decline in recent elections on both the state and federal level, secured 37.5 percent of the vote in Hamburg, according to an exit poll for by public broadcaster ARD — clearly ahead of the Greens on a projected 25.5 percent but down on its last result in 2015. If confirmed in the official results, this would mark the second-best election results ever for the Greens.
It is unclear whether the far-right Alternative for Germany will meet the 5 percent threshold for entering the local parliament, raising the possibility that the party could exit the 121-seat assembly.
Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union came in a distant third with 11.5 percent, according to the exit poll. The leftist Die Linke and liberal Free Democrats are on track for 9 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
Nearly all parties are predicted to lose support or stay roughly the same compared to the last election, except for the Greens, which are set to gain around 13 percentage points.
In the 2015 vote, the SPD won 45.6 percent of the vote, allowing them to govern in coalition with the Greens, who had secured 12.3 percent. The two parties are likely to resume that partnership after Sunday’s election in the affluent port city.
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