Germany split on prospect of Angela Merkel′s fourth term as chancellor | News | DW | 01.02.2018
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Politics

Germany split on prospect of Angela Merkel's fourth term as chancellor

A new survey has shown a divided public in Germany on whether Angela Merkel should be chancellor once again. The Social Democrats also witnessed their worst performance in the poll's history.

German public broadcaster ARD on Thursday published its monthly Deutschlandtrend survey, showing a drop in support for Angela Merkel serving a fourth term as chancellor .

Fifty-one percent of respondents said they looked at the prospect positively. However, six months ago support for Merkel stood at roughly 70 percent.

Meanwhile, Deutschlandtrend reported that 46 percent opposed a fourth term for Merkel.

According to the survey, 71 percent of respondents said they are losing patience with how long it is taking to form a government following elections in September.

SPD hits record-low

The survey also showed a significant loss of support for the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which had already seen historically low elections results of 20.5 percent in 2017.

If elections were held this Sunday, the SPD would receive 18 percent of the vote, according to the survey.

Read more: Is Germany's political left coming apart at the seams?

The decline in popularity follows the decision to enter into  exploratory coalition talks with Merkel's conservatives.

Divided on 'grand coalition'

Last month, the SPD narrowly voted to move forward with formal coalition talks despite a major push from the party's youth wing against forming a new coalition with Merkel.

The Deutschlandtrend survey also showed division among the SPD when it came to the prospect of forming a government with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).

Of respondents who themselves identified as members of the SPD, 52 percent said they saw a "grand coalition" government positively, while 46 percent said they viewed it negatively.

Read more: The major sticking points in Germany's upcoming coalition talks

Schulz at a loss

In the wake of the elections, SPD leader Martin Schulz witnessed growing support as he prepared the party to be an opposition force against a so-called Jamaica coalition, which would have brought the CDU, CSU, the Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens together to govern.

However, those talks broke down in November after the FDP walked out, seemingly leaving the onus on the SPD to form another grand coalition or send German voters back to the polls.

According to Deutschlandtrend, support for Schulz has dropped to 25 percent — a loss of 5 percentage points since the announcement of exploratory coalition talks with Merkel.

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