German Social Democrats beat Merkel’s CDU in Lower Saxony vote

Germany’s Social Democrat Party (SPD) defeated the Christian Democrats (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel in a local election in Lower Saxony on Sunday, exit polls from infratest dimap (a German research company) indicate. The SPD won with 37.5 percent, an increase from the 2013 election by nearly five percent, Reuters reports. Merkel’s CDU received 35 percent, followed by the Greens (8.5%), Free Democrats (7%), and Alternative for Germany (5.5%). The Lower Saxony election is another setback for Merkel as she prepares for coalition talks at the national level after the CDU experienced its worst showing since 1949 in September’s federal election (33%).