Christian Democrats maintain double-digit lead over the Social Democrats

JULIEN WARNAND

(FILE) - 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.

Christian Democrats maintain double-digit lead over the Social Democrats


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Social Democrats (SPD) continue to slide in the polls, with the Christian Democrats (CDU), building a 14-to-16 points lead just six weeks before Germans go to the polls.

The last four opinion polls by Forschungsgruppe Wahlen (16), YouGov (14), Emnid (14), and  Infratest dimap (15) conducted between August 4-10, suggest there is little margin of error. All polls project a comfortable victory for Merkel, who is already the longest serving German Chancellor.

The ruling party in Germany is below its June peak in popularity, when it established a17-18 points lead over its junior coalition partner. However, it is clear that the Social Democrats no longer hope to win the German federal elections of September 24. Until April, the two parties were neck on neck, with the SPD building a small lead in a number of polls.

Martin Schulz, 61, is no longer a match for the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Last week the Chancellor returned from her vacation in South Tyrol to find her popularity falling to just 59 points. That was a 10-point fall, but double the ratings of Martin Schulz.

Across all demographic groups, the CDU triumphs over its junior coalition partner. At the same time, the comeback for the Liberal party (FDP) in the 8 points region could mean that the Christian Democrats will no longer have to rely on a grand coalition to govern. One of the main scenarios being projected is that the CDU will now abandon the Black-Red alliance and negotiate a coalition government with the Greens and the liberals.

Some of that success appears to be coming from the Chancellor’s approach to international relations. The Chancellor is benefitting both from renewed confidence in the Franco-German axis and the sharp contrast with President Trump.

Meanwhile, the former President of the European Parliament has failed to translate his promise to address inequality in policy commitments. Germany is nearing full employment, but the quality of work has deteriorated with poorly paid and insecure jobs claiming a bigger share of the job market. That flexibility in the labour market is credited to former Chancellor Gerard Shroeder.

 

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