The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) is poised to humiliate Chancellor Angela Merkel's allies in an Oct. 14 vote for Germany's most influential regional government, an election that could have far-reaching implications for national politics.
With blunt anti-Islamic rhetoric and attacks on Merkel's migrant policy, the AfD is expected to muscle into the regional parliament in Bavaria for the first time.
That could help end one of the iron laws of post-war Germany: the near total domination of one of the richest and most populous states by a regional conservative party that has used its clout there to wield outsized national power for decades.
Polls point to the Christian Social Union (CSU) losing its absolute majority and securing only about 35 percent of the vote. The biggest winners would be the Greens and AfD on about 16 percent and 12-13 percent respectively.