Polls Put Angela Merkel’s Party Behind Main Opponent

German’s Social Democrats (SPD) have overtaken Merkel’s CDU in one opinion poll

German Federal election will be held on September 24, in a year where voters in the Netherlands and France could determine the future political landscape of the continent.

Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has been untouchable during the past years, having won all federal elections since 2002. But this year’s election could prove to be a turning point for Germany, as Merkel’s popularity has been affected by immigration related issues and terrorist attacks.

The survey for German broadcaster ARD put the SPD on 32 percent while Merkel’s conservative bloc was on 31 percent. This marks the first time in years Merkel’s party is behind in the polls, a sign that the ruling conservatives are losing support.

SPD has gained strength since nominating Martin Schulz, former European Parliament President, as its election candidate. Polls show that SPD has gained four percentage points compared to a poll published on February 2, while Merkel’s CDU in coalition with its regional ally from Bavaria, Christian Social Union (CSU), lost 3 percentage points.

The poll also put the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) at 11 percent, which is far above the 5-percent threshold needed to enter parliament. The euro-skeptic party is expecting to make significant gains in the federal election, and this could further complicate the post-electoral process.

Angela Merkel has been a dominant figure in German politics during the past decade, and was also seen as the main pillar of the EU. However, polls are indicating that Merkel’s unchallenged position in German political landscape may be coming to an end.

Source: Reuters

Image: Daily Express