Merkel ally criticizes partners’ vote drive

BERLIN (AP) — 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.”

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