BERLIN: The general secretary of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Union bloc says that early exit polls 'hurt' as the party looked at its worst result since 1949.
With different exit polls putting the Union bloc neck-and-neck or slightly below the center-left Social Democrats, Paul Ziemiak said on Sunday that his party nevertheless wants to 'serve this country' and will consider a coalition with the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats.
Exit polls by public broadcasters ARD and ZDF show the Union bloc down 8-9 per cent compared to 2017, after four elections in which the party won under Merkel.
Her successor, Armin Laschet, had low personal approval ratings and some in the party had questioned whether he was the right candidate for chancellorship.
Ziemiak said that his party was looking at 'bitter losses' that would need to be analyzed.