The election results have left outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party reeling after losing many of its voters.
The conservatives are seeking to redefine themselves as a younger generation spearheads the strive for renewal.
Armin Laschet, the leader of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, says he will quit as head of Germany's most populous state.
The announcement came as he took responsibility for the party's poor election performance.
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