• Germany's news in English

Merkel's coalition hits winning poll position

The Local · 10 Apr 2013, 14:23

Published: 10 Apr 2013 14:23 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

If a vote were held now, her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its junior partner, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), would win a clear governing majority, the Forsa institute poll suggested.

The prospect of the coalition remaining in office has strengthened mainly because of the weakness of the centre-left Social Democratic Union (SPD), whose chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück has had a poor campaign start, hobbled by a series of gaffes and missteps.

Asked which candidate they preferred as chancellor, 57 percent of respondents opted for Merkel against just 19 percent for Steinbrück.

Under Merkel, the champion of tough reforms and austerity during the eurozone's debt woes, "people have the feeling that, in times of crisis, they are in safe hands with her," said Forsa institute chief Manfred Güllner.

"If the SPD had a charismatic chancellor candidate, then Merkel would also be viewed in a more critical light," he told the Stern news weekly, which commissioned the weekly poll along with RTL television.

The latest embarrassment for the SPD came this week with the launch of their election slogan Das Wir entscheidet "The 'We' decides" which, it was revealed on Wednesday, had already been used for years by a temporary employment agency.

"We had the slogan before the SPD - since 2007 in face," Christophe Cren, German head of the firm Propartner, told Der Spiegel magazine.

Not only does the mix-up suggest the SPD might be running out of campaign ideas - any embarrassment will only be magnified by taking something from a temporary employment agency.

The party is against the whole phenomenon of temporary work which is usually badly paid and offers no security. Its policies of ensuring people get paid the same for doing the same jobs - as well as introducing a minimum wage of €8.50 an hour.

Yet these ideas do not seem to be appealing to a majority of German voters. Of those who responded to the Forsa poll, 47 percent said they would vote for one of the ruling parties, the CDU or FDP.

It was the first Forsa poll since elections in late 2009 that indicated a clear ruling majority for Merkel's government over the combined support for the three main opposition parties.

The CDU scored 41 percent support in the poll and the FDP six percent, narrowly passing the five percent hurdle to stay in parliament. Both parties were up by one point from the previous survey.

The SPD lost one point to 23 percent, nearing its all-time low, and the Green party was also down one point to 14 percent. The Left, the communist successor party, was up one point at nine percent.

This gave the major opposition parties a combined 46 percent support.

Story continues below…

The Pirate Party, which campaigns for Internet freedom and civil rights but has been torn by internal squabbles, stayed at three percent, placing it in the political death zone beyond the next elections.

Germany votes on September 22, when Merkel, one of Germany's most popular politicians, will seek a third term as chancellor, running against Steinbrück, her former finance minister in a grand coalition government.

AFP/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd