Young men in traditional Bavarian clothes arrive at a polling station for the Bavarian state elections in Maisach, southern Germany, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

The Latest: Exit polls: Top party losing Bavaria majority

October 14, 2018 - 12:09 pm

BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on the state election in Bavaria, Germany (all times local):

6:00 p.m.

Exit polls indicate German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative allies are losing their absolute majority in Bavaria's state parliament by a wide margin.

The ARD and ZDF public television exit polls had the Christian Social Union winning 35.5 percent of the vote in Sunday's regional election, down from 47.7 percent five years ago.

That would be the party's worst performance in Bavaria, which it has traditionally dominated, since 1950.

The polls said the Greens were making major gains to secure second place with up to 19 percent of the vote. They showed the far-right Alternative for Germany entering the state legislature in Munich with 11 percent.

The center-left Social Democrats, Merkel's junior coalition partners in Berlin, are on course to win some 10 percent, half their score in 2013.

___

8:00 a.m.

Bavarians were voting Sunday in a state election that was expected to deal the prosperous region's long-dominant conservative party a stinging setback, with unpredictable consequences for German Chancellor Angela Merkel's federal government.

Some 9.5 million people are eligible to vote for the state legislature in Munich, where the Christian Social Union — an important but often-awkward Merkel ally — has held an absolute majority for all but five of the past 56 years.

Polls suggest it will lose that majority by a wide margin.

The CSU, which has taken a hard line against migration and has a socially conservative tradition, appears to be losing support on both the left and the right, with the Greens picking up liberal-minded voters and the far-right Alternative for Germany party set to win seats.

While the CSU is unlikely to lose power altogether after a 61-year reign, just needing coalition partners to govern would be a humiliating setback.

AP Editorial Categories: