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Germany election polls: Angela Merkel’s CDU suffering worst poll results since 1984

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Germany’s centre-left Social Democrat Party (SPD) have struck ahead in polls with one month to go before the federal election, overtaking Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU. Under Ms Merkel’s leadership, the party enjoyed four straight election victories, but this outright public support is crumbling.

With Ms Merkel due to step down after the upcoming vote, her imminent departure continues to expose cracks in the party’s direction, thought to be behind the loss in public backing.

Armin Laschet, the candidate for Ms Merkel’s successor, now faces monumental pressure to bring the party back from the brink.

Support for both the CDU and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), has been falling steadily in recent weeks.

A Forsa poll for RTL/NTV published on Tuesday shows this trend continuing, with the SPD making gains.

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The poll showed the SPD was up two percentage points compared to a week ago on 23 percent, while the CDU/CSU slipped a point to 22 percent and the Greens are down a point at 18 percent.

Forsa said this was the first time that the SPD had been ahead of the CDU/CSU since October 2006, with the latest rating for Merkel’s party at its lowest level since the polling institute was set up in 1984.

Peter Matuschek, chief political analyst at polling group Forsa, said: “What’s most striking here is the weakness of the CDU, rather than the relative success of the SPD.

“When you look at the numbers, 23 per cent for SPD would not have been a great result in previous elections.”

The SPD’s current poll rating is only three points higher than its historically poor turnout in the last federal election when it became junior partner to the CDU.

But this narrowing of the gap could result in the CDU suffering its worst electoral outcome in 70 years and a possible three-way coalition, the first in Germany’s post-war history.

The Green party, while consistently polling in third place, has a good shot at entering government.
Meanwhile, the pro-business Free Democrats, polling in fourth place, might act as kingmaker in either a CDU-Green-FDP coalition or an SPD-Green-FDP coalition.

The CDU, which got just under 33 percent of the vote in the last election in 2017, currently govern in coalition with the SPD.

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Support for Mr Laschet also fell again in the Forsa poll, while it rose for the SPD’s candidate, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.

Ms Merkel has sought to downplay her party’s woes and appeared to disregard opinion polls.

She said on Tuesday: “We will work every day for a good result and we are not looking at polls every day.”

But Markus Söder, head of the CSU, said: “I admit that a few weeks ago, I would have had higher goals.

“That’s becoming more and more difficult — and, one has to admit, not entirely realistic.”

The CDU’s Michael Kretschmer, minister-president of Saxony, said his party needed to “hit the reset button” if they wanted to win.

The Forsa poll cited has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

The poll about party preferences was conducted on August 17-23 among 2,504 people, while the poll ranking the leaders was conducted on August 18-20 among 1,532 people.

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