Germany′s ruling parties sharpening their profile, voters feel | News | DW | 22.02.2019
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Germany's ruling parties sharpening their profile, voters feel

A majority of Germans feel that after years of moving towards the middle, the SPD and CDU are returning to their traditional corners. Nearly three-quarters of respondents to a new poll think this is the right way to go.

Germany's ruling parties are slowly starting to differentiate themselves again, according to a new voter poll published on Friday. The most recent debates over immigration and social welfare are starting to show the contrast between the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democrats (CDU).

According to public broadcaster ARD's Deutschlandtrend poll, 74 percent of Germans "strongly agree" that the SPD and CDU appear to be showing stronger individual identities than in the past. The same number of people believe that they should continue to do so.

After years of ruling together in a so-called "grand coalition," Germans saw the two parties come closer and closer together towards the political center,losing support as they did so. Now, however, as Merkel's successor, CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, pursues a harder line on immigration and the SPD is pushing harder for social reforms, like a guaranteed basic income for pensioners, both parties appear to be shifting back towards their traditional corners.

Infografik Umfrage Deutschlandtrend Umfrage zu politischen Parteien in Deutschland EN

At the same time, support for both parties appeared to rise slightly, with both logging an extra percentage point of popularity since last week's poll. This brings the SPD up to 18 percent just a few months after it hit a historic low of only 14 percent support.

The new numbers mean that the Greens' relatively brief time as Germany's second-most popular party may be drawing to a close, as it is now neck and neck with the SPD.

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