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 strong challenge from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) to return to power in a key state election with a big gain in support. Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) under Premier Reiner Haseloff in the small eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt won 35 per cent, according to exit poll projections, significantly higher than the 29.8-per-cent vote it scored in the last year election in 2016. After a neck-and-neck race with the CDU during the election campaign, the AfD saw its support slip to 23.5 per cent from the 24.3 per cent it …

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