Merkel’s conservatives see off far-right challenge to win state poll

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives saw off a challenge from the far right to return to power in a key state election on Sunday, the last major test of the country’s political mood before September’s national ballot. Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) under Premier Reiner Haseloff in the small eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt won a better-than-forecast 35.8 per cent of the vote, representing a 6-per-cent swing to the party over the last election in 2016, according to public television poll projections. After a neck-and-neck election campaign with the CDU, the far-right Alterna…

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