Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) suffered a renewed electoral setback Sunday when it lost control of Hamburg, according to exit polls published immediately after voting ended in the northern German city-state.
The polls by the main broadcasters gave the CDU around 43 per cent of the vote, down from 47.2 per cent in 2004.
The Social Democrats (SPD) saw support rise to around 34 per cent from 30.5 per cent four years ago.
Observers predicted forming a governing coalition in the port city would be difficult with the Greens on 9 per cent, the Left Party on between 6 and 7 per cent and the liberal FDP hovering around the 5-per-cent needed to enter the state parliament.
Exactly four weeks ago, the CDU saw substantial losses in the states of Lower Saxony and Hesse.
At federal level, Merkel heads a broad coalition combining the CDU with the SPD. The next federal elections must be held by September 2009.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Şubat 2008, 16:09