• Germany edition
 
Support for Social Democrats slides further
Photo: DPA

Support for Social Democrats slides further

Published: 16 Jan 2013 10:56 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Jan 2013 10:56 GMT+01:00

Germany's main opposition party is sliding in opinion polls and seems set to offer Chancellor Angela Merkel an easy victory in September's general election.

Latest figures published on Wednesday showed the Social Democratic Party (SPD) attracting just 23 percent of the vote - down two points since last week.

Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) scored 43 percent - the party's highest ever rating under her leadership.

But her current coalition partner, the business-friendly Free Democrats are still failing to clear the five percent hurdle necessary to send any MPs to parliament - they are still languishing at three percent this week, up one percent since last week.

If the FDP go on like this it would force Merkel into taking a different coalition partner to form a government, with the weakened SPD still the most likely candidate.

Also struggling to clear that hurdle are the Pirate Party, currently on four percent. The socialist Left party scored eight percent, and seems set to retain its parliamentary representation.

The SPD's preferred coalition partner the Greens dropped a point on last week, to reach 14 percent, meaning that the CDU party alone stands six percentage points ahead of a potential SPD-Green coalition. The figures were published by Stern magazine and broadcaster RTL, commissioned from polling firm Forsa.

Forsa said the SPD's 23 percent was their lowest level of support since July 2011, and if this was reproduced in the election, would translate to its worst ever result - the same as in 2009.

This was the election which buried Merkel's coalition with the SPD and propelled her and the FDP to power. That was also the last time SPD chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück held federal office - as Merkel's finance minister.

Steinbrück's performance in the polls continues to decline, with just 18 percent of Germans selecting him when asked who they would vote for if they could decide their chancellor directly - a drop of four percent since last week.

Merkel secured 59 percent when people were asked the same question - one point up on last week.

Forsa head Manfred Güllner said the continued losses suffered by the SPD were due to the frustration and irritation experienced by many potential SPD voters thanks to the debate about Steinbrück himself as a candidate.

Güllner told Stern: "They are ducking out and do not want to acknowledge their party loyalty."

In contrast CDU supporters are solid. "They are happily standing by their party and the chancellor," said Güllner.

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

09:55 January 18, 2013 by michelsmith588
With support for Social Democrats dwindling already, will it another term for Chancellor Merkel? Join the discussion on the only number-based social channel. And stay  candid, it¦#39;s all discreet! http://bit.ly/VTaz3X
Today's headlines
April wraps up with stormy week ahead
Lightning over Lake Starnberg, in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

April wraps up with stormy week ahead

The end of April is looking stormy for Germany with hot and cold air mixing and making for wild spring weather over the coming few days, state forecasters DWD said on Wednesday. READ () »

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Russian troops pictured in March in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia

German arms sales to Russia have come under fire following the crisis in Ukraine. In 2012 Germany sold €40 million worth of rifles, pistols and armoured vehicles to the country. READ () »

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel
Photo: Nieto Sobejano Architects, Berlin

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel

Munich's old city centre is to receive an ultra modern addition to its skyline in the shape of a new hotel dubbed 'the Tetris cube'. READ () »

The Local List
German beer culture in 11 gulps
Photo: DPA

German beer culture in 11 gulps

Wednesday marks the 498th anniversary of Germany's celebrated beer purity law, so in honour of nearly half a millennium of hoppy history, this week's Local List tells some beer truths you may not know. READ () »

Feminist's apartment advert goes viral
Photo: Screenshot/Facebook

Feminist's apartment advert goes viral

Finding accommodation in Berlin is notoriously tricky. But one woman on the hunt might have a particularly hard time of it, with an advert for an apartment so absurd it has gone viral. READ () »

Russian spies step up activity in Germany
The Russian embassy building in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Russian spies step up activity in Germany

Russian spies are increasingly targeting potential informants in German politics and business by taking them out to dinner, according to counterintelligence services. READ () »

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner
Photo: DPA

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner

The German government is planning a shake-up of the country’s unemployment benefit system, Hartz IV, by introducing stricter rules on claimants in a move which supporters say will cut bureaucracy. READ () »

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112
Gertrud Henze. Photo: DPA

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112

Germany’s oldest woman died at the age of 112 on Tuesday. Gertrud Henze was born on December 8th 1901 and joked her long life was down to never getting married. READ () »

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent
Police search the area near where Gabriele's body was found in October 2013. Photo: DPA

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial. READ () »

European Elections 2014
'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Hans-Olaf Henkel (r) celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AfD with leader Bernd Lücke. Photo: DPA

'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,070
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd