Angela Merkel’s ruling CDU party has been beaten into third place by an anti-immigrant and anti-Islam party in elections in a north-eastern German state, TV exit polls suggest.
The Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) party took 21.4% of the vote behind the centre-left SPD’s 30.2%.
The German chancellor’s CDU was supported by only 19.8% of those who voted, according to the exit polls.
The vote was seen as a key test before German parliamentary elections in 2017.
Before the vote in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, all of Germany’s other parties ruled out forming a governing coalition with the AfD.