• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Social Democrats trail in polls despite anniversary

The Local · 16 Aug 2013, 15:40

Published: 16 Aug 2013 15:40 GMT+02:00

Coming fewer than 40 days before the general election, yet billed as a "Germany festival", the party has drawn criticism from political opponents who say it is nothing other than a campaign vehicle.

The district mayor, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives (CDU) had opposed the application for the party, but he was bypassed by SPD city bosses. Carsten Spallek argued that the party had already marked its anniversary in May in Leipzig, where it was founded.

It was there on May 23rd, 1863 that the General German Workers' Association or ADAV - the predecessor to the SPD - was set up in Leipzig by the pioneer of German socialism, Ferdinand Lassalle.

But Berlin's city transport minister Christian Gaebler, an SPD member, said: "The SPD can, as Germany's oldest political party, claim the right to hold its summer jubilee festival on [Berlin's Strasse des] 17. Juni."

If it were to function as a political rally - and chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück is set to make an appearance - it would need to work very well to have much of an effect - the SPD is still trailing Merkel's CDU significantly.

Figures published on Friday by public broadcaster ZDF suggested the SPD was on 25 percent of the vote, while the CDU's conservative bloc was on 41 percent.

It is only the continued poor performance of the CDU's current government coalition partner which is hindering a certain continuation of the pairing - the Free Democrats, FDP, are on the five-percent line, the minimum needed to send MPs to parliament.

This means the current coalition is on a combined 46 percent, while the SPD with its preferred coalition partner the Greens, would achieve 38 percent. On those figures neither grouping would have enough to form a majority government.

But on personal popularity, Merkel remains streets ahead of Steinbrück, with 63 percent saying they would vote for her if the chancellor were to be directly elected. Steinbrück, whose election campaign has failed to catch light, was the favourite of just 29 percent.

And this year election polls could continue much longer than is normally the practice, after ZDF said it would break the convention of publishing the last one ten days before the election, before observing a poll black-out until the vote.

This year ZDF plans to publish the results of a poll three days before the election, saying people were deciding which way to vote later and later, and that the broadcaster did not want to keep its information from the public.

Story continues below…

This is likely to benefit the FDP more than any other party, academic Peter Lösche told the Tagesspiegel newspaper. He said people were only likely to be influenced by late opinion polls if they suggested a party was heading to fail to clear the five percent needed to get into parliament.

"There is nothing better that could happen for the FDP than lying at 4.5 percent in the ZDF opinion poll on the Thursday before the election," he told the paper.

The Local/DPA/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
File photo: DPA

When a man swimming naked in a Bavarian lake felt a strange pain in his nether regions, he looked up to see a fisherman on the shore. "Don’t pull!" he shouted.

Study finds rival Rhineland beers 'actually taste the same'
Left: Altbier. Right: Kölsch. Or can you even tell? Photos: DPA.

Cologne and Düsseldorf have a long established rivalry, not least over who has the better home brew. So the results of a new study might be more than they can swallow.

Eastern Europe pushes Germany for joint EU army
Angela Merkel (l), Beata Szydlo and Victor Orban. Photo: DPA

Eastern EU countries on Friday pushed for the bloc to create a joint army as they met with Germany for talks on sketching Europe's post-Brexit future.

Merkel’s party mate wants to get rid of all Karl Marx streets
Karl Marx and one of the roadways in Berlin named for him. Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Nicor

Hundreds of streets are named after the founder of communism, but this conservative politician wants to give Marx the boot.

State elections
6 reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Photo: DPA

With state elections around the corner, The Local looks at the poor side of Germany's "poor but sexy" capital city.

Upstarts RB Leipzig plan to go right to top of Bundesliga
RB Leipzig players celebrate scoring against Dynamo Dresden. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig make their Bundesliga debut on Sunday, but the East German outfit, sponsored by energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull, are already far from popular in Germany's top-flight.

Poland criticizes Germany’s 'self-serving' foreign policy
Witold Waszczykowski. Photo: DPA

The Polish foreign minister has said that Germany all too often follows its own interests at the expense of its partners, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to visit Warsaw.

Vast majority of Germans in favour of burqa ban: poll
Women wearing niqab veils in Saudi Arabia. Photo: DPA.

A survey found that the vast majority of respondents were in favour of Germany passing a ban on the full-body veil sometimes worn by Muslim women.

Czech police detain driver for harassing Merkel's motorcade
Angela Merkel. File photo: DPA

Czech police arrested a man on Thursday for attempting to drive into the motorcade of visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Prague, they said.

Teacher convicted for holding kids back after class
Photo: DPA

A music teacher from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has been found guilty of "holding people against their will" after he made some naughty stay kids back after class.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,614
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd