Social Democrats 'have more weight' in coalition

Social Democrats 'have more weight' in coalition
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (left), Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and Merkel. Photo: DPA

Germany's junior government coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democrats, seem to the public to be defining policy more than Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, according to a survey.


The Handelsblatt newspaper commissioned the poll from Forsa, to see how the rival parties are perceived nearly five months after they formed a 'grand coalition' to run the country.

Of the more than 1,000 people asked, 37 percent said the Social Democrats (SDP) were setting the agenda, while just 31 percent felt the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) were more influential. Twenty-five percent said they did not see any difference in the degree of leadership of the parties within the coalition.

The Handelsblatt said on Tuesday that even among CDU supporters, just 44 percent saw their party in charge, while 54 percent of SPD supporters thought their party was more influential.

In general though the 'grand coalition' has not impressed the public with its efforts so far. Of those asked just 40 percent said they were satisfied with what the new government had done and how it had going about it. Fifty-four percent said they were less than satisfied.

READ MORE: 'There is nothing grand about this coalition'


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