Angela Merkel’s party has made historic losses in elections for the Berlin state parliament after a mayor warned of a resurgence of Nazis in Germany.
Many voters turned to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which with 13 per cent of the vote will enter the German capital’s assembly for the first time, according to initial projections.
Before the election, mayor Michael Müller had warned that a double-digit total for the AfD would’ be seen around the world as a sign of the return of the rightwing and the Nazis in Germany’.
Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union polled at 18 per cent – a drop of 5 points.
The centre-left Social Democrats (SPU) dropped 6 per cent to 22, but remain the largest party, and are expected to ditch the CDU from their current coalition.
On Saturday Merkel announced plans to jettison her ‘we can do this’ mantra about accommodating refugees as her poll ratings continued to slump.
‘It’s become a simple slogan, an almost meaningless formula,’ she told a German newspaper, adding: ‘Some feel provoked by the expression which of course was not the idea.’