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Angela Merkel remains most popular politician in Germany

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Angela Merkel remains most popular politician in Germany
Angela Merkel is still Germany's favourite politician, according to the poll. Photo: DPA
10:05 CEST+02:00
Angela Merkel is still the most popular politician in Germany 14 years after she became chancellor, according to a new poll which also highlighted attitudes towards climate change.

Despite a tense political landscape which has seen Germany become increasingly polarized since Merkel's decision to accept an influx of refugees in 2015, the chancellor is still favoured by well over half of the population, according to a new poll.

A total of 56 percent of Germans said they were satisfied with Merkel, who belongs to the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU). That's an increase of two percentage points compared to the last survey conducted earlier in July, stated the Deutschlandtrend opinion poll for public broadcaster ARD.

SEE ALSO: Merkel at 65 - 10 photos that tell the story of the 'eternal chancellor'

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) took second place with 51 percent (plus six points) and in third place was Health Minister Jens Spahn, of the CDU, who scooped a 48 percent satisfaction rate, an increase of 12 percentage points.

Commentators tweeted about the results of the poll

A representative random selection of voters across Germany were surveyed between July 29th and 31st by Deutschlandtrend.

SEE ALSO: Should Germany be worried about Merkel's health after trembling spells?

Germans want action to fight climate change

The poll showed a large majority of Germans are in favour of taking drastic action to tackle climate change.

Almost every participant – a huge 97 percent – said they supported the introduction of more innovation and research into fighting climate change.

A total of 92 percent of respondents believe rail travel in Germany should be cheaper – an intiative recently proposed by the Green party – while the same amount backed expanding renewable energy. 

And a total of 71 percent of respondents think that air travel should be more expensive.

But there still appears to be strong resistance to introducing a carbon tax, with 61 percent against it. 

Greens and CDU come out on top

When it comes to which political party to support, the environmentally friendly Greens have been riding high in recent months – and even took the second spot after the CDU in the European Elections earlier this year.

READ ALSO: 'Surfing the Zeitgeist': How the Greens won over Germany

In the latest poll, the Green party tied with the CDU and its Bavarian sister party the CSU, with 26 percent, a plus point of one percent for Merkel’s Union.

Next, came the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) with 14 percent (plus one point) and lagging behind was the SPD with 12 percent (minus one point).

The pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) remains at eight percent, while The Left (die Linke) dropped one point to seven percent.

UK ‘not to be trusted' according to majority 

Boris Johnson became the new UK Prime Minister last week – a step in the wrong direction according to most Germans. A total of 67 percent expect the relationship between the UK and the EU to deteriorate under Johnson. 

Meanwhile, only 37 percent of Germans consider the UK a trustworthy partner, a drop of 17 percentage points since the last survey in February.

Russia and the US both ranked low in the poll, although respondents said Moscow is more trustworthy than Washington — with 28% saying Russia is trustworthy, compared to 19% for the US.

A total of 89 percent of Germans in the poll said France was a trustworthy partner.

Split opinion on raising Germany's defence budget

Meanwhile, Germany has repeatedly been slammed by the likes of Donald Trump for its lack of defence spending. Deutschlandtrend asked what respondents thought about increasing the funding for Germany's military.

Half of respondents (50 percent) said they supported an increase in spending of the German defence budget to two percent of the GDP.

The proposal was clearly backed by voters of the FDP (66 percent), CDU/CSU (61 percent) and the AfD (55 percent). There was slightly less support from SPD voters (47 percent) and the Greens (46 percent), while there was a lot less support from Left voters (13 percent).

 
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