German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) added four percentage points to reach 34% in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state. This is its highest level in two years.
According to the Infratest dimap poll, CDU is now on par with the Social Democrats (SPD), its main opposition, which dropped three percentage points, also to 34%.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, voters in the state, which is currently governed by a SPD-Green coalition, go to the polls on May 14 in what could be a bellwether for national elections in September. A strong showing for the CDU in the state could bode well for Merkel’s bid to secure a fourth term.
The poll also showed a one-percentage point drop for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), which is poised to head further to the right after a controversial party congress in Cologne, in the heart of the state.
The pro-business Free Democrats (EDP) gained one percentage point to 10%, while the pro-environment Greens remained unchanged at 6% and the Left party was at 5%, with just enough votes to win seats in the state parliament.