The Times of London

German voters deliver poll blow to Merkel amid discontent over aid to Greece
The Times of London

Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared to have been dealt a political body blow on tonight when her Christian Democratic party recorded its worst ever result in crucial region elections.

Exit polls in North Rhine Westphalia — Germany’s most populous region with 18 million inhabitants — suggested that the Christian Democrats won barely 34 per cent of the vote and were like to be toppled from the regional government. Plainly the party has had to pay for some of the popular discontent about Chancellor Merkel’s aid package for Greece.

Since agreeing an aid package for Greece a week ago, the Chancellor’s personal popularity has plunged by 6 percentage points. The Christian Democrats, even when taking unpopular actions, could always count on the personal popularity of Ms Merkel to buoy up their results. That is now fast crumbling.