Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz are going head to head in the elections
The German Chancellor is currently in Rome and met with the Pope yesterday ahead of the state election in Saarland tomorrow.
Saarland is a majority catholic German state and has been run by Mrs Merkel's party for the last 18 years.
However voters are expected to reject the Chancellor's policies amid claims former EU president Martin Schulz's Social Democrats (SDP) will throw Mrs Merkel's party out of power.
This is the first election since the so-called Schulz effect so it will show us whether that really translates into votes for the Social Democrats
Thomas Jäeger, politics professor at Cologne University
Polls are indicating a major defeat with the latest data on the national elections showing the majority of Germans would prefer Schulz's to take over after Merkel's 12 year reign.
A Deutschland poll found yesterday that 45 per cent of interviewees want a new federal government formed by Mr Schulz.
Saarland is a forested, southwestern German state bordered by France and Luxembourg.
It is ruled by a coalition under Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and SPD, which mirrors the power sharing within the federal government in Berlin.
In 2014, the local government announced its "French strategy," which is a plan to make the state bilingual in French and German by 2043.
The Saarland elections are regarded as a barometer of what is likely to happen at September's national elections.
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One of the smallest of Germany's 18 states, it has 800,000 registered voters and the loss of power will be a major blow to Mrs Merkel's party.
Mr Schulz is campaigning on a socialist ticket and is riding high in the polls with local media dubbing his apparent success as the "Schulz effect".
Thomas Jäeger, politics professor at Cologne University, said: “This is the first election since the so-called Schulz effect so it will show us whether that really translates into votes for the Social Democrats.”
Mr Schulz, former European Parliament president, has vowed to extend benefits for the unemployed if he wins Germany’s general election later this year.
'MERKEL MUST GO': Brussels protest against German Chancellor Tue, February 14, 2017
Angry campaigners held placards with slogans reading 'Merkel not welcomed' and 'Merkel must go' following a spate of terror attacks against Germany.
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Protest on the sidelines of Angela Merkel's official visit in Brussels
He recently told a party congress in Berlin: “Starting now the fight begins to take over the chancellory.
“It has been encouraging to see in the last few weeks that people are hopeful again that the Social Democrats have a shot.
“My intention is to pursue policies that make the lives of hard-working people a little better is apparently finding a lot of support.”