Chancellor Angela Merkel may still be the most popular politician in Germany. But with state elections looming this year in eastern Germany, she is not a welcome guest on the campaign trail. She remains persona non grata in the east.
It was an historic defeat for both the center-right Christian Social Union and the center-left Social Democrats. The aftershocks of the state election in Bavaria are likely to reach all the way to Berlin, with Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition even more wobbly that it was.Von Christian Teevs
For decades, the Christian Social Union in Bavaria has exerted outsized influence on Germany's national political stage. With state elections approaching on Sunday, however, the CSU finds itself embroiled in crisis. What went wrong?Von Markus Feldenkirchen
Germany's once high-flying Green Party is foundering in many states. After a disastrous election result in North Rhine-Westphalia, the party is promising change, but it may come too late for September's national poll.Von Annett Meiritz
The state election on Sunday in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state, was supposed to give Martin Schulz's chancellor candidacy a needed boost. But his party, the Social Democrats, lost to Merkel's CDU. The road ahead looks bumpy.Von Florian Gathmann
Following months of ballot box success, the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany party is suddenly sliding. And more bad news may be on the horizon. The party is hoping for a resurgence of the refugee crisis, but even that might not be enough.Von Severin Weiland
In February, Social Democratic chancellor candidate Martin Schulz was riding a wave of popularity. Now, his party has lost two state elections in a row and another state vote is looming on Sunday. Can he get his campaign back on track?Von Florian Gathmann
With national elections just a year away, many have written Angela Merkel off. Yet even as her party continues to suffer in state elections, there are a host of reasons why the chancellor can hope for a fourth term -- assuming she decides to run.Von Roland Nelles
The state election in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania gave the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany a significant boost. It is a challenge for Chancellor Merkel and the entire country.Von Sebastian Fischer
The success of the right-wing populist party AfD in recent state elections has shaken Germany. It is the expression of growing hatred of the elite among an expanding share of the population. Much of their anger is directed at Angela Merkel. By SPIEGEL Staff
Every mainstream political party in Germany threw its support behind Chancellor Angela Merkel's refugee policies -- forcing doubters into the open arms of the right-wing populists. It's time for German politicians to be clearer about where they stand.Von Stefan Kuzmany
Angela Merkel has repeatedly said that it will take time to solve the refugee crisis. But impatience is growing, particularly following the sexual assaults in Cologne. Voices of discontent are getting louder and the chancellor's hold on power may be weakening. By SPIEGEL Staff
Angela Merkel's domestic policy in her third term will likely be confined to higher spending. But she has grand plans for Europe. SPIEGEL has learned she wants Brussels to have far more power over national budgets. It's a risky move that EU partners and the Social Democrats are likely to oppose.Von SPIEGEL Staff
Voters in the German state of Hesse were also called upon on Sunday to choose a new government. The results of the election were anything but clear and coalition negotiations there promise to be drawn out and tedious.
The biggest losers of the German election are the pro-business Free Democrats, who failed to make it into parliament. After decades of playing kingmaker, its spectacular defeat marks a seismic shift in Germany's political landscape.Von Severin Weiland
Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition partners, the Free Democrats, stumbled badly in Sunday's state election in Bavaria. The party hopes to convince conservatives to lend their votes in the general election next week. But Merkel is in no mood to be generous.
German voters are deciding later than ever whom to vote for this election cycle. That is not good news for Chancellor Angela Merkel. With party loyalty on the wane, many of her core supporters could defect for tactical reasons at the last minute.Von Melanie Amann, Peter Müller und Gordon Repinski
In an interview with SPIEGEL, Peer Steinbrück, the 66-year-old Social Democrat German chancellor candidate, says Chancellor Angela Merkel's strict focus on austerity in the debt crisis has been wrong. He also vows to crack down on tax evaders and raise taxes on high earners.
Peer Steinbrück, the SPD candidate running against Chancellor Angela Merkel in a September general election, is still seen as a risk to the party's prospects despite a recent boost from Lower Saxony. Damaged by a string of gaffes, he will be kept on a tighter rein and only have a limited say in campaign strategy.Von Horand Knaup, Gordon Repinski, Michael Sauga, Merlind Theile und Konstantin von Hammerstein
Political pundits had begun writing off Peer Steinbrück, the Social Democrat nominee to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in general elections this September. But the SPD's victory in Lower Saxony has given the gaffe-prone politician a reprieve. The result shows Merkel is vulnerable despite her popularity.Von David Crossland