Sun Mar 26th, 2006 at 11:35:48 AM EST
It could have been a test of the new Merkel-administration: Three regional elections in Rheinland-Pfalz, Baden-Württemberg (both situated in the South-West) and Sachsen-Anhalt (in the East). The first elections since the orming of the coalition in Berlin.
It could have been if this coalition were not a grand coalition. The motto of all campaigns was: "Don't hurt me, I won't hurt you!" In Rheinland-Pfalz, the CDU ceased the election to the incumbent Kurt Beck (SPD), in Baden-Württemberg the SPD did the same for Günther Oettinger (CDU). Accordingly, no surprises here. Kurt Beck's SPD might even get the majority of mandates, enabling him to form a government without the FDP. Günther Oettinger will continue to lead a CDU-FDP coalition.
In Sachsen-Anhalt, the outcome is not clear at the moment. The incumbent Wolfgang Böhmer who has led a CDU-FDP government will remain in office, but it is not quite clear who will be his partner: CDU and FDP might have a sufficient majority, but this is still a question of margin of error. If CDU-FDP fails to get a majority, Böhmer will form a grand coalition.
Current prognoses (18.30):
. CDU SPD FDP GRE LEF
RL-P 32,0 46,5 8,0 5,0 2,5
BA-WÜ 45,0 25,0 10,5 12,0 3,0
SA-AN 37,0 21,0 7,0 3,5 24,5
Very low turnouts everywhere.