GERMANY'S CHANCELLOR, MERKEL, FACES POLL TEST
Voters in Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, are voting in a regional election that could change national politics.
A defeat for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and their liberal allies would end the coalition's majority in the upper house of parliament the British Broadcasting Corporation reports.
The campaign has been overshadowed by the government's decision to contribute to a huge rescue package for Greece.
Meanwhile many cities in NRW are on the brink of bankruptcy.
The state, home to 18 million people, is Germany's industrial heartland and regarded as a weathervane for national politics.