AfD drops in popularity, Greens and Christian Democrats on the up: Poll

The popularity rating of Alternative for Germany (AfD) has fallen after Germany’s intelligence agency stepped up surveillance of the party, a new poll shows.

AfD drops in popularity, Greens and Christian Democrats on the up: Poll
An AfD stand during a recent European election meeting hosted by the party in Riesa, Saxony. Photo: DPA

This is a German language learner article. The words in bold are translated at the bottom of the article.

On Monday an Insa opinion poll by Bild newspaper showed the anti-immigration AfD at 13 percent – a drop of 1.5 percentage points – the party’s worst figure for about a year, and fourth place in the current party ranking.

The survey results came after Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) last week declared that it had officially designated the AfD a “review case”, meaning it will step up monitoring of political extremism within the group.

The winners of the poll, which asks a sample of voters who they would vote for if an election was held this week, were the centre-right Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Socialists (CDU/CSU).

The CDU/CSU gained two points bringing them to 31 percent. The Greens remain the second strongest force with 19.5 percent (+1.5 points), followed by the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), who were placed at 13.5 percent, just ahead of the AfD.

SEE ALSO: In depth: Is the AfD becoming too extreme?

Survey would make two coalitions possible

According to the Bild survey, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) remain at 9.5 percent. After a slight drop, the Left Party (Die Linke) is now also at 9.5 percent.

The current poll shows two government coalitions would be possible: an alliance between the CDU/CSU and the Greens, which would account for a total of 50.5 percent of voters. With a total of 54 percent, a coalition between CDU/CSU, SPD and FDP would also be possible.

Germany’s intelligence agency shied away from immediate full surveillance of the entire AfD, including phone and email taps, the use of undercover informants and the collection of personal data on MPs.

But it was also to start full surveillance of the party's youth organization Junge Alternative (JA), which is suspected of having ties with the extremist Identitarian Movement.

And it was to place under surveillance the AfD's most far-right grouping “The Wing” (Der Flügel), led by nationalist Björn Höcke, reported the Tagesspiegel last week.

SEE ALSO: Germany's intelligence agency to step up surveillance of the AfD

German vocab

ein Rückgang (masculine) um 1,5 Prozentpunkte – a decrease of 1.5 percentage points 

das Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz – the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution 

erklären – to declare

der Prüffall – the test case or review case

politischer Extremismus – political extremism

das Parteienranking – party ranking

gewinnen/erreichen – to gain or increase

bleiben – to remain

die zweitstärkste Kraft – the second strongest force

Umfrage würde zwei Koalitionen ermöglichen – Survey would make two coalitions possible

aktuellen – current

das Bündnis – the alliance

sofortige vollständige Überwachung – immediate full surveillance

verdeckte Informanten – undercover informants

verdächtigt – suspected


Member comments

  1. It would be better if the bold words in the article are in German. At least then we could try to understand them before looking up the translation at the bottom of the article.

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Ex-chancellor Schröder sues German Bundestag for removing perks

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has sued the German parliament for removing some of his official post-retirement perks over his links to Russian energy giants, his lawyer said Friday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder sues German Bundestag for removing perks

Schröder, 78, has come under heavy criticism for his proximity to Russian President Vladimir Putin and involvement with state-backed energy companies.

The decision to suspend Schröder’s taxpayer-funded office and staff in May was “contrary to the rule of law”, Michael Nagel, told public broadcaster NDR.

Schröder “heard of everything through the media”, Nagel said, noting that the Social Democrat had asked for a hearing before the budget committee responsible but was not given the chance to express himself.

READ ALSO: Germany strips Schröder of official perks over Russia ties

Schröder’s lawyers filed the complaint with an administrative Berlin court, a spokesman for the court confirmed.

In its decision to strip him of the perks, the committee concluded that Schröder, who served as chancellor from 1998 to 2005, “no longer upholds the continuing obligations of his office”.

Most of Schröder’s office staff had already quit before the final ruling was made.

Despite resigning from the board of Russian oil company Rosneft and turning down a post on the supervisory board of gas giant Gazprom in May, Schröder has maintained close ties with the Kremlin.

The former chancellor met Putin in July, after which he said Moscow was ready for a “negotiated solution” to the war in Ukraine — comments branded as “disgusting” by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Last week, the Social Democrats concluded that Schröder would be allowed to remain a member after he was found not have breached party rules over his ties to the Russian President.

Schröder’s stance on the war and solo diplomacy has made him an embarrassment to the SPD, which is also the party of current Chancellor Olaf Scholz.