The political beating that the CDU took this weekend was not the first indication of public opinion souring towards Merkel's party with local elections earlier this year also showing a rise in support for the AfD.
Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING-DiBa, said in a note on Monday that the latest election was "another shot across the bow for the national government and Chancellor Angela Merkel."
He noted that the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has around 1.3 million voters, the highest youth unemployment rate of all German states, a high poverty rate and that "the extreme right-wing party, NPD (National Democratic Party), has been member of the regional parliament for ten years".
"Therefore, yesterday's results are obviously not representative but they definitely are symbolic for Chancellor Merkel and the entire German landscape." The big test case ahead of the 2017 national elections will be next year's elections in North Rhine Westphalia, a state which has more voters than all eastern German states together, Brzeski noted.
In all, however, he said that Sunday's result would not "change Chancellor Merkel's stance on the refugees or the economy but the atmosphere in her own government and party will become rougher."
Another test of the CDU's popularity will be seen when Berlin's state election is held on September 18, however.
While Alavan's Newton said in his note, "let's see what happens in Berlin a fortnight from now (in the state election) before writing Merkel off," another analyst said the Berlin election could force the CDU into an uncomfortable position with the SPD – a party that, despite partnering the CDU/CSU in power, has criticized her migrant policy.
"In the capital, the strength of the AfD could force the CDU out of the grand coalition with the SPD," Carsten Nickel, deputy director of research at risk consultancy Teneo Intelligence, said in a note Sunday.
"Though hardly a CDU home turf, the regional elections in Berlin could further add to Merkel's immediate headaches. The chancellor's job for autumn will be to reconcile the CDU party base with her own leadership," he said.
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