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Steinbrück's approval ratings collapse
Photo: DPA

Steinbrück's approval ratings collapse

Published: 11 Jan 2013 08:55 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Jan 2013 08:55 GMT+01:00

The approval ratings of Peer Steinbrück, the Social Democratic Party's challenger to Angela Merkel in this year's general election, collapsed further in an opinion poll published Friday. One in four SPD voters even want a new candidate.

Only 36 percent of Germans are currently satisfied with Steinbrück, according to a new Infratest poll published by state broadcaster ARD and Die Welt newspaper. That is a whole 12 percentage points less than at the start of December.

Meanwhile, Merkel's approval ratings rose by another five points to an apparently unassailable 65 percent.

After Merkel, the most popular German politicians are Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière (63 percent), and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (59 percent), both fellow members of the chancellor's CDU.

The collapse in Steinbrück's ratings have been disastrous since he was named the SPD's candidate at the start of October 2012.

At that time, the former finance minister enjoyed 59 percent approval, and was often polled as being Germany's second or third most popular politician, but negative media coverage about his extra-curricular earnings as a speaker damaged him badly - and have now put him in tenth place of all of Germany's politicians, behind perennially unpopular figures like Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

Since then, his outspoken criticism of politicians' wages and his remark that Merkel gets a "woman's bonus" in the polls have further alienated the population - particularly members of his own party.

The dilemma for Steinbrück is that 82 percent of Germans actually approve of his "I say what I think" approach to interviews - but apparently do not like what he says.

As many as 45 percent of Germans - and 26 percent of SPD voters - think that the SPD should find another candidate.

The parties are facing a crucial bellwether election in the state of Lower Saxony on January 20.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:23 January 11, 2013 by murka
He could easily add 20%+ to his base by changing the expression on his face.
09:53 January 11, 2013 by pepsionice
Here's the thing....the next five guys after him? They are in the same category. The SPD really has a problem and needs fresh blood at the top of the leadership.
13:53 January 11, 2013 by raandy
He never really had a chance.
14:34 January 11, 2013 by dr.makni49
Fall of graph and the sore eye...any connect between the two?
15:25 January 11, 2013 by Kennneth Ingle
How was that with the SPD 3 wise monkeys? I cannot think of any party leader in Germany who I would want to vote for. The Germans seem to always have bad luck with their politicians, but looking back at Britain, there is not much choice in that country either. The Swiss seem to be the only Europeans who have real representatives in parliament.
20:23 January 11, 2013 by Englishted
I have said it before ,and will again Purge the party of ALL those that worked with the C.D.U. in the gröss coalition, start with this greedy champagne socialist.
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