Germany's centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) approval ratings have reached a historical low, according to an poll published by weekly magazine Stern on Wednesday.
After the political drama of the last two weeks centred on a possible SPD partnership with the hard-line socialist Left Party, support levels for the Social Democrats dropped to just 23 percent. The poll, conducted by German association for social research Forsa and broadcaster RTL, showed that SPD popularity sank one percentage point from last week, resulting in the lowest party approval rating Forsa has ever measured for the party.
Angela Merkel's party, the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), registered a 38 percent approval rating, while the Left Party and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) weighed in at 14 and 10 percent respectively. The environmentalist Greens were at 11 percent.
The SPD's party leader Kurt Beck has lost popularity too. When participants were asked who they would immediately vote for as the next chancellor only 13 percent chose Beck, down one percentage point from last week. That's the lowest rating Forsa has ever recorded for Beck since he became party leader in May 2006.
Some 57 percent of poll participants said they would prefer keeping Angela Merkel as chancellor.