German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats have narrowly lost an election in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, but may continue to control the state's legislature.
Preliminary election results show the opposition Christian Democrats won more votes than the Social Democrats, but failed to win an outright majority.
The results give the Christian Democrats a one-seat edge in the legislature, but support from a small Danish minority party will likely keep Mr. Schroeder's party in power.
Soaring unemployment weighed heavily on the region with one of the highest jobless rates in western Germany.
The Social Democrats have held power in Schleswig-Holstein for 17 years.
Some information provided by AFP and Reuters.