The ZDF Politikbarometer poll shows Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) on 36 percent support, with the Social Democrats (SPD) on a miserable 21.5 percent.
Germany’s two largest parties have been united in a “grand coalition” since 2013, a fact which appears to have led to an erosion in support for both of them.
If the ZDF figures are accurate, Merkel’s party will suffer a 5.5 percent drop in the vote. The SPD meanwhile will lose 4 percent of the vote share they held in 2013 and would suffer the worst result in their history.
No poll by the seven major polling companies in the country has shown Merkel’s party on anything higher than 37 percent over the past two weeks. Meanwhile they all agree that the SPD will lose seats.
Voters appear to be backing the smaller parties in the German political system in increasing numbers, with the pro-business and eurosceptic right set to storm into the Bundestag in large numbers after Sunday’s election.
The neo-liberal FDP are on target to win 10 percent of the vote, according to ZDF. Meanwhile a recent Allensbach poll put them at 11 percent.
The FDP failed to make it into the Bundestag in the last election, but they have been reinvigorated by their energetic young leader, Christian Lindner.
Lindner has made the most of public disgruntlement with the government’s bailout policies towards Greece by calling for Athens to temporarily leave the single currency. He has also taken a notably tough line on refugees, saying that people who have sought refuge in Germany should be sent home as soon as possible.
Meanwhile the far-right AfD are on course to become the third largest faction in the Reichstag, with ZDF estimating that they will win 11 percent on the ballot.
The AfD was founded as a eurosceptic party in 2013, but has had most success as the loudest opponent to the government's controversial and divisive refugee policy over the last two years. The fact that its leadership has been accused of running a xenophobic campaign does not appear to have harmed its polling numbers.
The Green party and Die Linke (the Left party), both from the left side of the political spectrum, are set to record similar results to 2013, with both on course to win around 8 percent of the vote.