Poll: Merkel party down after state election flop

A new poll finds support for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives has fallen after an embarrassing election defeat in Germany's most populous state.

The Forsa poll for Stern magazine, released Wednesday, put support for Merkel's Union bloc at 31 percent — down four points from the previous week.

That left it four points ahead of the main opposition Social Democrats but neither has enough support for a majority with its preferred coalition partner.

Forsa says parties' support drops after election defeats but support for Merkel herself remains solid.

Merkel's conservatives lost heavily to the Social Democrats May 13 in North Rhine-Westphalia state. Merkel fired her environment minister, who led their much-criticized campaign.

The poll of 2,002 people, conducted May 14-18, gave a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 points.