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Germany

SPD Up, CDU Down in Polls

German voters are regaining confidence in the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD). According to an opinion poll published on Friday, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's party would receive 29 percent of the vote if an election were to take place on Sunday -- that's three percentage points more than a month ago and the SPD's best standing in a year. The opposition Christian Democratic Union meanwhile lost some support and -- in what is a two-year low -- would receive 41 percent of votes in an election. But together with the neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP), which would get 6 percent of votes, the CDU could still form a government. The SPD and its junior coalition partner, the Greens party, only reach 41 percent of voters. The Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), the successor to the East German communist party, would get 6 percent of votes. While the German head of government is not elected directly but by parliament instead, 49 percent of voters would choose Schröder with only 32 percent siding with CDU leader Angela Merkel instead.

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