Projections suggest a major upset for the ruling Social Democrats in local elections in Berlin with the centre-right Christian Democrats ahead with 27.8% of the vote.
If the final results mirror the projections, it would be the first time in more than two decades that the Christian Democrats emerged as the strongest party in Berlin.
Kai Wegner, the party’s top candidate, thanked Berliners for their votes and promised that “we will make Berlin work again.”
Berliners have long been frustrated by the city’s notoriously dysfunctional administration, which has defied cliches of German efficiency for years and made it the laughing stock of the rest of the country.
The election itself was a court-ordered rerun of a chaotic 2021 state election that was marred by severe glitches at many polling stations and hours-long queues as some polling centres ran out of ballots or received the wrong ones for the district.
After the 2021 election, Franziska Giffey, who belongs to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats, led the city as Berlin’s mayor in a three-party left-wing governing coalition with the Greens and the Left party. The 44-year-old was running again Sunday.
And on Sunday there were also regional elections in Italy.
Candidates backed by Giorgia Meloni’s hard-right coalition, Lombardy regional president Attilio Fontana and right-wing Francesco Rocca are expected to triumph in both the northern economic powerhouse of Lombardy and Lazio, which includes the capital Rome.
Polling stations will reopen on Monday, when results will begin to be known.