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The 2003 Lower Saxony state election was held in Lower Saxony in north-western Germany on 2 February 2003. The incumbent Social Democratic Party was defeated by the opposition Christian Democratic Union.
Lower Saxony state election, 2003 Wikipedia
The election in Lower Saxony had larger significance than just in the state itself. Defeat for the Social Democrats in the election would mean they lost their slim majority in the upper house of the German parliament, the Bundesrat. It was thought this might cause the collapse of Gerhard Schröder's national coalition government between the Social Democrats and the Green Party.
The economy was seen as the most important issue in the election, with the Social Democrats suffering as a result.
Opinion polls in December 2002 showed the Christian Democrats in the lead with 43% as against 34% for the Social Democrats.
The SPD vote share fell dramatically, and Christian Wulff (CDU) was able to form a CDU-FDP coalition and become Prime Minister instead of Sigmar Gabriel (SPD).