CDU builds substantial lead over SPD in Germany

JULIEN WARNAND

A file picture dated 25 June 2015 shows then European Parliament President Martin Schulz (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) at the European heads of state and governments summit at the EU Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Schulz on 29 January 2017 was officially nominated by the Social Democrats (SPD) party chair as SPD's as top candidate to take on Chancellor Merkel in German general elections in September 2017. He is scheduled to be elected as party chairman during a extraordinary party confention in March.

CDU builds substantial lead over SPD in Germany


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The last three public opinion surveys (03-10 April ) suggest the German Christian Democrats (CDU) are building a convincing lead over their junior coalition partners, the Social Democrats.

The latest polls by INSA suggests a slim 1,5% lead, but two surveys by Civey and Forsa indicate a 5-6% lead. In absolute numbers, the CDU of Chancellor Angela Merkel is in the region of 33%-to-36%, while SPD of the former President of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz, is in the region of 30%-to-31,5%.

Against conventional wisdom, which holds first-time voters to be closer to the left, about 43% of Germany’s youth is ready to vote for Angela Merkel.  That is over an 11% lead against Martin Schultz (32%) in the same demographics. And if one looks at the 18-to-21 group, that lead expands to 18% (47% to 29%), Reuters reports.

In an interview with Forsa analyst Manfred Guellner, who gives the CDU an overall 6% lead, Reuters suggests first-time voters have the traditional conservative reflex to vote for the one they know and trust.

Meanwhile, Angela Merkel is responding to the move by the Social Democrats to the left – planning an Alliance with Die Linke and the Greens – with her own move to the right. On Tuesday, the Chancellor gave Peter Altmaier, the migration policy coordinator, the responsibility for drafting the CDU electoral manifesto.

The turn to the right seems to be working, not only to rally the difficult Bavarian sister party CSU but also in deterring the rise of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party,  which is sliding to single digits or close to 10%.

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