Merkel's party has trounced Martin Schulz in Saarland
And rather than being swept up by a phenomenon known locally in Germany as 'The Schulz effect', voters have come out in force to support the Christian Democrats just two days after Mrs Merkel met with Pope Francis in Rome.
The majority Catholic state of Saarland is expected to be a key indicator in the forthcoming September elections and while Mrs Merkel's party has polled five per centage points more than they did at the last election; the Green party have been wiped out as the far right Alternative For Germany (AfD) are predicted to have gained seats.
The CDU has made gains in Saarland according to exit polls which say their vote has reached 40 percent in the federal elections on Sunday – an increase of around five percentage points.
The news will come as a real blow to Martin Schulz of the SPD with his local representative Anke Rehlinger reaching up to 30 percent after initial estimates.
While the AfD are expected to have taken six percent and have seats obliterating the Green vote.
The AfD is now represented in 11 per cent of states across Germany.
This is a developing story more to follow…