The party’s surge in popularity comes following the historic selection of Annalena Baerbock as the Greens’ first chancellor candidate on Monday.
On Tuesday the conservative CSU/CDU executive committee also selected North Rhine-Westphalia’s state premier Armin Laschet (CDU) over contender and Bavarian state premier Markus Söder to represent the alliance in the national elections, set to take place on Sunday September 26th.
- Germany’s Greens name co-leader Annalena Baerbock as candidate to succeed Merkel
- Merkel’s conservatives confirm Laschet for chancellor candidate as Söder concedes
A big change
A recent poll, published on Tuesday evening, asked voters who they would cast their ballot for if elections were taking place right now.
The CDU/CSU fell by seven percentage points to 21 percent as compared to the last weekly poll. The Greens gained five percentage points, surpassing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, and rising to first place with 28 percent.
(article continues below)
See also on The Local:
The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) lost two percentage points and now stands at 13 percent. The pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) gained two percentage points, while the Left Party and the other smaller parties each gained one percentage point.
Only the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) remains unchanged.
Sonntagsfrage zur Bundestagswahl • Forsa für RTL/n-tv: GRÜNE 28 % | CDU/CSU 21 % | SPD 13 % | FDP 12 % | AfD 11 % | DIE LINKE 7 % | Sonstige 8 %
➤ Übersicht: https://t.co/Gzilw3J3L9
➤ Verlauf: https://t.co/FJLtuxG3lb #btw21 pic.twitter.com/VJQFk8FjOZ
— Wahlrecht.de (@Wahlrecht_de) April 20, 2021
The survey was conducted by the Forsa polling institute on behalf of the RTL media group. A total of 3,505 people were surveyed from April 13th, and 1,502 of them only on April 20th – or after Laschet had been elected as candidate for chancellor.
47 percent would have preferred Söder
Elected as head of the CDU in January, Laschet would usually be the obvious choice to lead the centre-right CDU and its Bavarian CSU partner into the elections.
But the 60-year-old has been panned in recent months for flip-flopping on measures aimed at curbing the coronavirus spread in his state, even attracting criticism from Merkel herself.
Laschet’s claim to be chancellor candidate was fiercely contested by Söder, 54, who after months of keeping Germans guessing about his ambitions finally announced his bid for the top job on April 11th.
Many voters also preferred Söder, a controversial but well-liked figure who has often butted heads with Merkel.
A total of 32 percent of those surveyed agreed with the decision to choose Armin Laschet as the CDU/CSU’s candidate for chancellor, but 47 percent would have preferred Söder.
Yet more Germans are pleased with the Greens’ choice: 54 percent of people think it was a good decision for 40-year-old Annalena Baerbock to become the Greens’ candidate for chancellor, whereas 23 percent would have preferred Robert Habeck to become the top candidate.
Of the Green Party’s supporters, 79 percent welcome Baerbock’s nomination, which marks the first time the party has ever sent one of its leaders into the race for chancellor.