FIRST AIRED: March 26, 2017

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00:00:00
>> Casting their votes in an election seen as a test for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Heading to the polls in the small western state of Saarland on Sunday, the result could hurt Merkel's prospects of winning a fourth term in the national election, later this year. It's the first of three regional votes, ahead of the federal votes on the 24th of September, delivering a real opportunity for the parties to build, or lose momentum in their quest to prevail at national level.
00:00:28
It's the first real test for the Social Democrats under their new leader Martin Schultz. He's re-energized the center left party with a promise to tackle inequality that's resonating with many voters who are tired of Merkel. Like federal Germany, Saaland is currently governed by a grand coalition of Merkel's conservatives and the Social Democrat Party.
00:00:49
But polls suggest a left leaning red red green alliance of the SPD, the far left Linker Party and the environmentalist Greens. Or even a red red coalition, if the greens fail to win enough votes.