Bavarian State Premier Markus Söder is the dominant figure in both his state and his party. He may yet harbor ambitions for Germany's top job.
State election vote projections in Germany show the conservative CDU and CSU parties were the day's winners, with losses for Chancellor Scholz's governing coalition. The far-right AfD, meanwhile, has gained ground.
One of Germany's most affluent states is heading to the polls with CSU State Premier Markus Söder desperate to maintain his current coalition. But that means adopting his coalition partner's populist tone.
Bavarians are known for their independence. The political expression of this is the Christian Social Union — the regional conservative party and feisty southern sibling to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.
The German Greens have been abused on the campaign trail in Bavaria and have had to defend unpopular federal policies. And yet they believe they're on course for a relatively healthy election result.
Bears have been extinct in Germany since the 1800s but, in rare occasions, bears from other countries wander in. Local farmers in Bavaria were advised to keep their animals indoors at night.