German center-right coalition poised to lose state

Exit polls in Germany show that voters in the country's northernmost state have likely ousted a governing center-right government made up of the same parties as Chancellor Angela Merkel's federal coalition.

An exit poll for Germany's public broadcaster ARD says the conservative Christian Democrats secured 30.5 percent and their coalition partner, the Free Democrats, slid to 8.5 percent in Schleswig-Holstein state Sunday.

It says the opposition Social Democrats got 29.5 percent of the vote, the Greens 14 percent and the upstart Pirates party achieved seats in the legislature for the first time with 8 percent. A party representing the Danish minority secured 4.5 percent.

While the opposition failed to secure an outright majority, the Social Democrats could form a coalition government with the Greens and the party of the Danish minority.

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