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Poll sees Christian Democrats ahead in European vote

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Photo: DPA
12:51 CEST+02:00
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats look set to win a clear victory in the upcoming European elections, according to a new opinion poll published Friday.

Of the 1,002 voters surveyed by Infratest dimap for public broadcaster ARD, 39 percent said they would vote for the Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian CSU allies, down 5.5 percentage points from the last EU elections in 2004. The CSU is on course to received six percent of votes, ensuring it would make it into the European Parliament.

The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) can expect to win 26 percent of the vote on June 7, an increase of 4.5 percentage point from 2004. In the last European elections, the party suffered its worst ever result - 21.5 percent - as voters were unhappy with the reform policies of SPD Chancellor Gerhard Schröder at that time.

According to the poll, Germany's Green party should win 12 percent of the vote, the pro-business Free Democratic Party 9 percent and hard-line socialist party The Left 7 percent.

However, voter participation will likely remain a cause for concern. In 2004, voter turnout hit a historic low at 43 percent. Of those questioned for by Infratest, 57 percent said they planned to vote on June 7.

But even those expected to vote appear to be paying little attention to the parties' positions on Europe. Of those surveyed, 56 percent said that national policy played the critical role in who they voted for – just a quarter said that European policy was most important to them.

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There are 736 seats in the European Parliament up for grabs during next week's vote. German will send 99 MEPs to Strasbourg, making up the largest national delegation.

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