“Every vote which we don't receive could be the one we need for a CDU, CSU and FDP majority,” he told Wirtschaftswoche business magazine. “Everyone must ask themselves: Do I want another government to be elected?” Schäuble said.
Schäuble's comments come as the AfD party expelled its first member this weekend for failing to disclose links to the neo-Nazi NPD party. “This is irreconcilable with the basic values of the AfD,” party leader Bernd Lucke said.
According to Spiegel magazine, AfD party treasurer Norbert Stenzel is planning to appeal for funding from organisations affiliated with the CDU. He's said to have a number of high-end contacts from his membership of the CDU business council.
SPD member of parliament Johannes Kahrs has not ruled out the possibility of the AfD making it into parliament, provided the party does not become radically right-wing. “There's 8 to 10 percent in it,” he told Focus magazine. That margin could conceivably help the SPDs and Greens to form a majority to challenge the CDU/CSU bloc.
According to an Insa Institute poll cited by the magazine, the AfD party gained one point to 4 percent in the space of a week.
With federal elections just five months away, politicians from across the spectrum will be closely monitoring the progress of the AfD. With the euro crisis and bailouts never far from the headlines, the anti-euro party could a play a significant – and possibly decisive – role in how the next government looks.