German SPD extends lead over Merkel's sliding conservatives

  • World
  • Friday, 03 Sep 2021

FILE PHOTO: Election posters of Germany's top candidates for chancellor Annalena Baerbock, co-leader of the Green party; North Rhine-Westphalia State Premier and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader, Armin Laschet and Olaf Scholz, German Minister of Finance of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) (L-R) are seen in Hamburg, Germany August 31, 2021. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) have opened up a five-point lead over Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives ahead of a Sept. 26 national election that promises multiple coalition options, a poll showed on Thursday.

The centre-left SPD's surge in polls has dimmed the prospects of another victory by the conservatives, whose promise of "steadfastness" is failing to resonate with voters concerned by climate change, immigration and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Infratest dimap poll for broadcaster ARD put support for the SPD at 25%, with the conservative CDU/CSU bloc on 20%, the Greens on 16%, the liberal Free Democrats on 13%, the far-right Alternative for Germany on 12% and the far-left Linke on 6%.

Support for the SPD was up seven points from early August and it was down seven points for the conservatives, according to the poll of 1,337 voters conducted from Monday to Wednesday.

The upshot is that only three-way coalitions look plausible after the election, raising the prospect of extensive negotiations to form a new government Merkel, in power since 2005, plans to stand down after the vote.

Armin Laschet, leader of her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), is trying to breathe life into his campaign after a snap poll suggested he lost a heated televised debate with his two main rivals on Sunday.

On Friday, Laschet plans to present eight lieutenants - four women and four men - to reinforce his campaign on key issues. Thursday's poll showed the top topics for voters are climate protection, followed by immigration and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Party sources told Reuters that Laschet's team will include Friedrich Merz, an erstwhile rival for the party leadership who carries weight with voters on the right of the political spectrum. Laschet styles himself as a centrist, like Merkel.

Laschet has been under fire since he was caught on camera laughing during a July visit to a flood-hit town. The CDU's slide marks a remarkable fall after 16 years in office and four straight national election victories under Merkel.

In a rare campaign intervention, Merkel took aim on Tuesday at the SPD's candidate, Olaf Scholz, for declining to rule out a coalition with the far-left Linke. Conservatives say this would mean a big lurch away from Germany's centrist mainstream.

Scholz remains by far the most popular candidate. The Infratest dimap poll showed that in a hypothetical direct vote for chancellor, he would win 43% of the vote, against 16% for Laschet and 12% for the Greens' Annalena Baerbock.

(Reporting by Paul Carrel and Andreas Rinke; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In World

In Khashoggi's shadow, Macron set for Saudi talks with crown prince
Australia Omicron variant spreads, testing reopening plans
Donors eye Dec. 10 decision on shifting frozen funds for Afghanistan
S.Korea reports record-high COVID-19 cases, deaths
U.S., Russia make progress toward resolving diplomats spat -State Dept
Brazilian Supreme Court orders probe into Bolsonaro for linking COVID-19 vaccines to AIDS
France evacuates more than 300 people from Afghanistan
Uganda says troops to stay in Congo as long as needed to defeat ADF
New online archive for Benin Bronzes to go live at end of 2022
Blinken says Ethiopia conflict risks implosion of country

Others Also Read