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> Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies suffered their worst election results since 1950 on Sunday. The Christian Social Union, or CSU, bled votes to the far right in the Bavarian state election. It's a setback that risks widening divisions within Germany's crisis-prone national government. Exit polls shows the CSU is now likely to lose their absolute majority for only the second time since 1962.
And that result means the part will form a correlation to retain power, a humiliation for them, used to ruling alone. The CSU's leader, Horst Seehofer has been a thorn in Merkel's side since 2015. That year her decision to open Germany's borders to more than one million migrants, saw Seehofer gradually shift his party to the right in an ultimately futile effort to counter the rise of the far right alternative for Germany or AfD.
Division's between Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and the CSU, conservative sister parties, have widened. That was mostly down to an inconclusive national election, which forced them into a coalition in March with the left-leaning Social Democrats. Before the Bavarian vote, Merkel had urged her CDU and CSU allies to end their infighting.
But this result is likely to stoke those disagreements. With Sunday's outcome, which saw the pro-immigration Greens come second and the AfD enter the State Assembly for the first time, Merkel's grip on the country is loosening. Her fourth and perhaps final government has already come close to collapsing twice, from arguments over immigration, Germany's former domestic spymaster and phasing out polluting diesel cars.