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Merkel ally criticizes partners' drive for chancellor's supporters in tight German race

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and her struggling coalition partners are fighting over votes in the final stretch of the campaign for Sunday's election as polls point to a tight outcome.

A ZDF television poll conducted Wednesday and Thursday showed a single-point lead for Merkel's current coalition of conservatives and pro-market Free Democrats over the combined opposition — in line with other recent surveys showing a dead heat.

The Free Democrats are seeking conservative supporters' votes after being ejected from Bavaria's state legislature in a regional vote last weekend. They're also struggling in national polls.

Bavarian governor Horst Seehofer, who led Merkel's conservative bloc to victory there, told the daily Die Welt Friday: "I would advise us all ... to fight our political opponents and not argue over each other's votes."