Far-right AfD loses support for first time in months
The Local · 5 Oct 2016, 17:17
Published: 05 Oct 2016 17:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 Oct 2016 17:17 GMT+02:00
A poll carried out by Forsa and published by Stern magazine on Wednesday showed that if federal elections were to be held on Sunday, 13 percent of Germans would vote for the AfD. That was a one percent loss since a Forsa poll carried out last week.
“The refugee debate has taken a backseat in public discourse,” Forsa director Manfred Güllner said. “The AfD isn’t growing anymore.”
The result supports the conclusion of other recent polling that the AfD's popularity is currently waning. An Insa poll for Bild showed a drop of half a point to 15 percent, while an Emnid poll for Bild am Sonntag showed a drop to 12 percent from 14 percent.
The results come after months of growth and some stunning state election results for the AfD. On September 23rd a survey by public broadcaster ARD had put the far-right party on 16 percent approval, a record high.
Nonetheless, the most recent polling did not show an increase in support for the traditional ruling parties, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
In the Forsa poll, the SPD even dropped a point to 22 percent, while the CDU stayed stable at 33 percent.
Slight gains were made in both polls by the Greens and Die Linke (the Left Party), although both still trail the AfD.
The AfD, founded in 2013 as a protest party against the Euro, has steadily moved further to the right, capitalizing on anti-immigrant sentiment stirred up by the arrival of close to 900,000 refugees in Germany last year.
In all five state parliament elections held in Germany this year, the party has gained double digit scores, recording its biggest victory in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt at 24 percent in March.
After gaining 14 percent in Berlin’s state election in July, the party’s deputy leader claimed they were on course to become the third largest party in the country in federal elections next year.