‘Mama Merkel’ faces first test of migrant crisis handling as elections loom
Mr Seehofer is neither from Saxony-Anhalt, nor even a member of the Christian Democrats. State prime minister of far-off Bavaria, he is leader of that region’s “sister party”, the Christian Social Union (CSU).
But as several key states head to regional elections today, Mrs Merkel has become a “toxic brand” for the Christian Democrats’ core constituency. Figures like Mr Seehoffer are seen as far more
likely to bring out the vote, even though they oppose their own government’s policy on the biggest issue of the day.
This is of national consequence. Mrs Merkel does not face national elections until next year, but with CDU support falling in the polls, some are warning a poor showing in the state elections could make the party panic and look for a new leader.