Merkel's CDU loses Lower Saxony election; setback to her national campaign (Barcelona) - Angela Merkel's ruling centre-right coalition government suffered yet another defeat on this Sunday's local elections, in what the Financial Times defines as a controversial election in the state of Lower Saxony, according to final forecasts of German television.

After early speculation that the result would be a narrow win for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Social Democratic party (SDP) and its varies Green party ties managed to gather enough votes to reach a 1 seat majority.

Preliminary final results for Lower Saxony: CDU 36%, SPD 32,6%, FDP 9,9%, Grüne 13,7%, Linke 3,1%. SPD & Grüne coalition gets them a 1 seat majority. Other coalitions possible, yet bottom line is that CDU loses.

FT: "A victory for the SPD and Greens could give a boost to their national campaign to replace Ms Merkel’s government in September. But the chancellor’s personal popularity has given the CDU a 17-point lead over the SPD in recent opinion polls."