Greens overtake conservatives in German state vote: poll

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The Greens pushed Angela Merkel's conservatives into third place in a regional vote Sunday, as Social Democrats who have ruled Bremen state for 66 years came out on top, an exit poll said.

The result is seen as a further drubbing for Chancellor Merkel after four other regional elections this year saw her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) lose support.

The Social Democrats (SPD) took 38 percent of the vote, while their Green allies took 23 percent, public television reported, quoting an exit poll.

The CDU came third with 21,5 percent, while its allies in the federal government, the Free Democrats, won just three percent of the vote, less than the minimum five percent needed to send representatives to the local assembly.

Final results might not be known for several days because of a complicated ballot counting system.

© 2011 AFP

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