Merkel’s legacy in tatters as beloved CDU plummets to historic low in German election poll

Angela Merkel heckled during speech in German Bundestag

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Germans will go to the polls in less than three weeks to decide on the future of their country at the end of Angela Merkel’s 16-year tenure. But the Chancellor’s party and her government coalition allies, the CDU and the CSU, are plummeting the trend barometer to what is probably the lowest value ever recorded. 

Merkel’s party is also at risk of losing numerous direct mandates. When it comes to chancellor preference, Armin Laschet is below 10 percent.

In the latest RTL / ntv trend barometer, the CDU and CSU have fallen by two percentage points compared to the previous week and are now at 19 percent. This is likely to be the lowest value that an institute has ever determined for the Union since 1949.

The SPD improved its value by two points. It is now six percentage points ahead of the Union and eight percentage points ahead of the Greens, whose value has fallen by one point to 17 percent. The FDP improved by one point to 13 percent. The values of the other parties remain unchanged.

If the Bundestag election were to take place now, the parties could expect the following result: SPD 25 percent (Bundestag election 2017: 20.5), CDU / CSU 19 percent (32.9), Greens 17 percent (8.9), FDP 13 percent ( 10.7), AfD 11 percent (12.6), Left 6 percent (9.2). The other smaller parties together achieve 9 percent (5.2). At 22 percent, the proportion of non-voters and undecided people is slightly below the proportion of non-voters in the 2017 federal election (23.8).

In the Bundestag (796 members), which is 87 members larger than in 2017 due to the overhang and compensatory mandates, the Union would only be represented by 169 members (77 fewer than in 2017), while the SPD would have 218 members. The Greens would move into the Bundestag with 148 members, the FDP with 113, the AfD with 96 and the Left with 52.

The Greens could send 81 MPs more MPs, the FDP 33 MPs, the SPD 65 MPs and the AfD two more than in 2017. The other parties would have fewer members in the Bundestag than in 2017.

According to Forsa’s mandate calculation, the Union would not only be represented in the Bundestag with a total of 77 fewer members than after the last general election, but also no longer win many direct mandates. In 2017 the Union won 231 direct mandates. With the current data on political sentiment, the Union would only be able to win fewer than 90 of the 299 constituencies directly, which would be over 140 fewer direct mandates than four years ago.

Currently only three-party coalitions would have a majority capable of governing (399 seats): a coalition of the Union, the Greens and the FDP (430 seats), a coalition of the Union, the SPD and the FDP (500 seats), a coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP (479 seats) and a coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the Left (418 seats). Alliances of the SPD and CDU / CSU (387 seats), a red-green government (366 mandates) or an alliance of CDU / CSU and FDP (282 sears) would not have a majority.

In the Chancellor preference, SPD Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz won one percentage point compared to the previous week, while Union Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet lost two percentage points and thus slips below the 10 percent mark. With 30 percent, Scholz is now 21 points ahead of Laschet and 15 percentage points ahead of the Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock, who is still at 15 percent. 46 percent would not vote for any of the three applicants.

In a huge blow to the Chancellor’s successor in the CDU, the poll also found that people in North Rhine-Westphalia, Laschet’s home state, would also vote for Söder with 35 percent, 21 points ahead of Laschet with 14 percent.

Mrs Merkel made an impassioned plea to German voters on Tuesday to back a government led by conservative Armin Laschet in this month’s national election, saying their other option was a left-wing ruling coalition.

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After losing their lead in opinion polls to the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) last month, the CDU/CSU conservative bloc is relying increasingly on warnings of a lurch to the left under an SPD-led coalition to try to revive its struggling campaign.

At stake is the future course of Germany, Europe’s largest economy and most populous country, after 16 years of steady, centre-right leadership under Mrs Merkel. She plans to step down after the September 26 election.

“Citizens have the choice in a few days: either a government that accepts the support of the (far-left) Linke party with the SPD and the Greens, or at least does not exclude it,” she told MPs in the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

“…or a federal government led by the CDU and CSU with Armin Laschet as chancellor – a federal government that leads our country into the future with moderation,” she added, in what was likely her last speech to the chamber.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg

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