German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a major blow Sunday when nationalist party Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) beat her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.
The election has been pumped up to be a test for Merkel’s open-door refugee policy and her chances of securing a fourth term as chancellor in next year’s parliamentary election. CDU received just 19 percent of the votes, the lowest it’s ever received in Merkel’s home state.
AfD, which has gained popularity with its anti-immigration platform, took second place with 21 percent’s support. The Social Democrats grabbed a comfortable win with 30 percent of the votes. Merkel has struggled to keep her party united and many conservative voters have turned to AfD instead.