Pollsters are predicting German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats will lose support to the anti-immigration AfD party in three state elections. Vanessa Johnston reports.
With three German states set to go to the polls on Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on election eve, gave a passionate defense of her open-door refugee policy in Baden-Wuerttemberg. Pollsters predict her conservative Christian Democrats will lose support to the anti-immigration AfD party. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "Today, more than 90 percent of people are saying 'if someone really is fleeing from war, terror, Islamic State and hardship, he must get protection among us.' So it's all the more important that we succeed in sending back those who are not coming from war and hardship but for economic reasons." Last year, more than one million migrants arrived in Germany, leaving many anxious about how they would all be integrated. Andre Poggenburg is an AfD candidate for Saxony-Anhalt. (SOUNDBITE) (German) AFD CANDIDATE FOR SAXONY-ANHALT, ANDRÉ POGGENBURG , SAYING: "We have policies in which our welfare state, our moral concept and our German identity is being sold off like in a bazaar." As Merkel tries to secure a Europe-wide solution to stem the flow of refugees, she says she'll be preparing for Sunday's election results by 'keeping her fingers crossed.'