Gerhard Schr?der and the SPD have suffered a major election setback in these regional elections. Schr?der’s response it seems has been to suggest he will call an early general election late this year.
Schroeder made his proposal after exit polls showed the Social Democratic Party (SPD) suffered a heavy defeat in a state election in North Rhine-Westphalia where it had ruled for 39 years.
The conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won 45 percent, comfortably ahead of the 37.2 percent for the SPD, public TV said.
Schroeder said the “bitter defeat” in North Rhine-Westphalia “throws into question the political basis for the continuation of our work” at a time when Germany was in need of wide-ranging reforms.