• Germany edition
 
All eyes on election date set for September
Photo: DPA

All eyes on election date set for September

Published: 09 Feb 2013 09:14 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Feb 2013 09:14 GMT+01:00

President Joachim Gauck rubber stamped the date proposed by the cabinet on Wednesday. Gauck's decision came as a new poll showed Merkel's lead over her rival Social Democrats (SPD) narrowing slightly.

The weekly "DeutschlandTrend" survey for public broadcaster ARD put Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU bloc on 39 percent, down one percentage point from a week ago. The centre-left SPD gained two percentage points to register 29 percent.

However, Germany's complex coalition-based political system means that although Merkel is likely to remain chancellor, if the polls stay the same, she may have to change coalition partner.

Her current partner, the pro-business Free Democrats, polled four percent, according to the Infratest dimap survey, leaving them just short of the required five percent for parliamentary representation.

The SPD's preferred partner, the ecologist Greens, polled 15 percent of the vote in the survey, giving them a combined total of 44 percent, meaning the race could yet be very close.

Merkel has suffered a series of political setbacks since the beginning of the year.

In January, her conservative bloc narrowly lost a key regional election in the northeastern state of Lower Saxony after a decade in power.

And in recent days, Education Minister and close ally Annette Schavan has come under pressure to resign after being stripped of her doctorate when her former university concluded parts of it had been plagiarised.

Infratest dimap surveyed 1,000 voters between February 5th and 6th.

AFP/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

11:51 February 9, 2013 by DoubleDTown
Maybe some of the eyes could get off the election and figure out a more aesthetically pleasing way to screen the public when they tour the Bundestag than those containers (visible on the right side of the above photo) that have been in place for over two years now...
18:39 February 9, 2013 by bwjijsdtd
If I was Merkel, I would take my benefits and retreat to a mountain top. All this infighting is just not worth the headache ... Maybe she caan join Schroder on one of his French fishing trips ...
Today's headlines
Lufthansa to resume Tel Aviv flights
A Lufthansa flight at Ben Gurion International Airport. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa to resume Tel Aviv flights

UPDATE: German flag carrier Lufthansa said Friday evening it would resume flights to and from Tel Aviv on Saturday after a four-day suspension due to the conflict in the Gaza strip. READ  

Pro-Gaza, Israel marches choke city centres
Protesters gather in Berlin on Friday. Photo: DPA

Pro-Gaza, Israel marches choke city centres

UPDATE: Pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators marched in Berlin and other cities on Friday's International Quds Day, as thousands of police stood ready to deal with excesses, including anti-Semitism that had marred earlier protests. READ  

Finders, keepers for Berlin cash hunt
Money will be hidden around Berlin. Photo: @HiddenCash/Twitter

Finders, keepers for Berlin cash hunt

A California millionaire, who became an internet phenomenon by hiding cash and tweeting hints about its location, is bringing the frenzy to Germany this weekend. READ  

'Police killer' confesses to shooting officer
Officers searching a field on Thursday near the scene of the killing. Photo: DPA

'Police killer' confesses to shooting officer

UPDATE: A suspect has been arrested following the killing of an off-duty police officer in western Germany on Wednesday night. The shooting sparked a large manhunt near Frankfurt on Thursday. READ  

German tourist shot dead in Kenya
Two foreign tourists were murdered in Mombasa this month. Photo: DPA

German tourist shot dead in Kenya

Kenyan police said on Friday a female tourist shot dead in the coastal city of Mombasa was from Germany, the second such killing of a foreign visitor by gunmen there this month. READ  

Firms would back Russia sanctions '100 percent'
Flowers laid to the victims of the MH17 plane crash at the Korporaal van Oudheusdenkazerne army barracks in Hilversum, The Netherlands. Photo: EPA/JERRY LAMPEN

Firms would back Russia sanctions '100 percent'

German industry would support "100 percent" tougher sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, the chairman of a major business lobby said on Friday. READ  

Expat Dispatches
What do you love about Germany?
Photo: DPA

What do you love about Germany?

This week's Expat Dispatches is gathering a lengthy list of everything we love about Germany. Blogger and writer Liv Hambrett starts with her reasons why she loves the country. READ  

BSkyB to launch pan-European pay-TV giant
The Murdoch media empire is rolling out a vast new pay-TV network through Europe. Photo: DPA

BSkyB to launch pan-European pay-TV giant

UPDATE: Rupert Murdoch's media empire 21st Century Fox has struck a mega deal with British satellite television group BSkyB to create a pan-European pay-TV giant, both companies said on Friday. READ  

German of the Week
Should we all get €12,000 a year?
Martin Bohmeyer has not worked for money in six months. Photo: DPA

Should we all get €12,000 a year?

What would happen if everyone was suddenly paid €1,000 a month with no strings attached? "Let's try it," says Michael Bohmeyer, who raised the money through crowdfunding and will now experiment with the idea of a basic income for one year. READ  

Robber fails because he can't speak German
Communication is key for cops and robbers alike: Photo: DPA

Robber fails because he can't speak German

An armed robber fled a Berlin supermarket empty-handed in frustration over his lack of German language skills. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Sport
Yoga helped Jogi's boys bring World Cup home
Photo: DPA
National
Pressure on police over anti-Semitic protests
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Politics
View from Germany: 'Nobody will win in an economic war with Russia'
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Jobtalk: How innovative is Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Germany's week in pictures: July 12th - July 18th
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Which workers is Germany short of?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten best expat jobs in Germany: Which one would you choose?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business 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
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

3,295
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd