German chancellor candidate Laschet loses favour with voters: poll

German chancellor candidate Laschet loses favour with voters: poll
The popularity of North Rhine-Westphalia's State Premier Armin Laschet, also candidate for chancellor of Germany's conservative CDU/CSU union, has dropped in recent polls. (Photo by Bernd Lauter / AFP)
With only 50 days until Germany's federal election, the frontrunner to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor -- CDU/CSU candidate Armin Laschet -- is fast losing favour with voters, according to the latest poll.

Only 24 percent of those surveyed in the latest ARD “Deutschlandtrend” (Germany trend) poll were satisfied with Laschet,  German daily Bild reported on Saturday.

This was a full 13 percentage points less than a month ago.

Laschet, currently state premier in North-Rhine Westphalia, has been criticised for his crisis management ability and recently came under fire for his response to the floods, which badly hit his own state. To make matters worse, he was captured on camera laughing while German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier paid homage to flood victims.

READ ALSO: Frontrunner to succeed Merkel as chancellor on back foot after flood disaster

The polls indicated that the Green candidate Annalena Baerbock was also quite unpopular; with 27 percent (down 1 percent on the previous month) she was rated only slightly better than Laschet.

These represent historically bad values for both candidates.

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For comparison, in the last Deutschlandtrend survey before 2017’s federal election, Union candidate Angela Merkel was well ahead with a 64 percent approval rating. The top Green candidate back then — Cem Özdemir — also fared well with 55 percent.

In the latest poll, SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz came out as by far the most popular of the three candidates for chancellor with a 48 percent satisfaction rating.

If it were possible to vote directly for the chancellor, Scholz would win by a clear margin: 35 percent would vote for him — an increase of 6 percentage points on the previous month. Laschet would only get 20 percent — down eight percentage points, while Baerbock could get 16 percent of the vote (down 2 percentage points on the previous month).

Interestingly, both Laschet and Baerbock were also less popular than their respective internal competitors. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed were satisfied with CSU boss Markus Söder, who would have liked to run for the CDU/CSU Union instead of Laschet.

Robert Habeck, who yielded the Greens’ candidacy to Baerbock, received an approval rating of 36 percent.

Chancellor Angela Merkel remained the most popular politician with a 66 percent approval rating (down 3 percentage points on the previous month).

The poll by Infratest dimap surveyed 1,312 people who are entitled to vote in Germany.

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