Residents in Berlin are voting in state elections that are predicted to deliver a blow to Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democrats. Voter unease with her refugee policy has led to a surge in support for the populist AfD.
Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. in the German capital, where some 2.5 million people are eligible to cast ballots for the city's assembly.
Opinion polls have forecast big gains for the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The AfD campaigned heavily on migration, seeking to capitalize on a popular backlash against Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door refugee policy which led to an influx of more than 1 million asylum seekers into Germany last year.
Polling also suggests the Social Democrats (SPD) led by Berlin Mayor Michael Müller, will remain the biggest party in the regional assembly, with a predicted 24 percent of the vote.
The AfD is polling around 14 percent, an outcome that would allow it to enter its 10th regional assembly out of 16 German states.
Read moe at Deutsche Welle.