Support for Germany’s opposition Greens has fallen to its lowest level in almost 15 years, a Forsa poll showed on Wednesday (19 April), dimming prospects for a left-leaning coalition snatching power from Chancellor Angela Merkel in the September election.
The survey, commissioned by Stern and broadcaster RTL, showed the Greens shedding one point to 6% – it’s lowest reading in that poll since August 2002. That leaves it hovering just above the 5% threshold that parties need to enter the national parliament.
Another survey by pollster INSA published on Wednesday also showed the Greens at 6% – behind the Free Democrats (FDP) who were at 6.5%, on track to return to parliament after crashing out of it in the 2013 election.
Some polls have suggested that a left-leaning ‘red-red-green’ alliance of the Social Democrats (SPD), the far-left Die Linke party and the environmentalist Greens could emerge after the 24 September election.
The Forsa survey showed Merkel’s CDU unchanged compared with the previous week, at 36%, while the Social Democrats remained at 30%.
The SPD has picked up since naming Martin Schulz as its candidate to run against Merkel.
But even support for Schulz seems to be waning – the Forsa survey showed support for Schulz under the 30% level in that poll for the first time since being nominated as the SPD’s candidate. If there were a direct vote for chancellor, 29% would pick him – 3 percentage points below the previous week’s level.
That compares with 44% of Germans who would vote for Merkel in such a direct vote – 1 point more than last week.
Die Linke gained one point to 9%. It also improved by half a percentage point in the INSA survey to 9%.
The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) was unchanged in both surveys, at 8% in the Forsa survey and 10% in the INSA survey. The party has lost momentum as migrant arrivals have dropped, and infighting has taken hold.
Petry quits election race
— dwnews (@dwnews) April 19, 2017
Frauke Petry, co-leader of the AfD, said yesterday she would not lead her party at the election – a surprising move that could play into the hands of established parties.
Petry’s announcement came after she caused controversy by tabling a motion for a congress next weekend in which she said the AfD – which is shunned by other parties – should be ready to join coalitions in future. She said some other senior AfD members like Alexander Gauland, however, wanted it to be a “fundamental” opposition party.
Petry is a 41-year-old chemist from the former Communist East Germany and is expecting her fifth child.
Petry’s camp wants to expel a senior member of the party, Bjoern Hoecke, for calling Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial a “monument of shame” and saying history books should be re-written to focus more on German victims of the Nazis.
Petry managed to secure a two-thirds majority on the party executive board in favour of expelling Hoecke. However, the far-right wing of the AfD supports him and a party arbitration board must now decide his fate.