BERLIN (AP) — Voters are going to the polls in Germany’s northern state of Bremen on Sunday to decide whether the center-left Social Democrats should continue to run a city they’ve governed since World War II.
The party of Chancellor Olaf Scholz came second behind its conservative rivals for the first time in 70 years at the last election, but retained power with the help of the Greens and Left party.
While recent polls show greater support for the Social Democrats than their challengers from the Christian Democratic Union, both of Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte’s junior coalition partners have lost ground.
The Greens, in particular, have suffered setbacks due to criticism of their energy policies at the national level, where they are in a coalition with the Social Democrats and the libertarian Free Democrats.
Almost 500,000 voters aged 16 and older in Bremen and its North Sea exclave, Bremerhaven, are eligible to cast their ballots. Polls close at 6 p.m. (1600GMT; 12 EDT), after which initial projections based on exit polls and partial vote counts are released. A final tally is not expected before Monday.