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More than half of Germans say democracy in danger: survey

September 12, 2019

A slight majority of Germans believe that democracy is in danger, according to a new YouGov poll. Right-wing extremism is given as the biggest reason for this belief.

Alternative for Germany rally
Image: picture-alliance/A. Franke

More than half of Germans think that democracy is under threat, according to a YouGov survey released on Thursday.

Fifty-three percent of respondents agreed with the statement that democracy is in danger, with concerns building around the rise of right-wing extremism in Germany.

The far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) was the political group in which people most feared for the state of democracy, with 79% of supporters surveyed responding that they believe democracy is in danger. 

Infographic of levels of happiness with democracy in Germany

The party made major gains in the eastern German states of Saxony and Brandenburg in state elections last week and are the largest opposition party in the German parliament. They are often critical of the media, which they believe portray the group unfairly. 

More than 50% 'satisfied' with state of democracy

Right-wing extremists also topped the list of reasons given for democracy being in danger at 47%, followed by right-wing populists and migrants both at 27%.

Left-wing extremism and the USA both came in at 22%, with Russia and social media also making the list.

Overall, despite a narrow majority believing that the future of democracy is in danger, 53% reported that they were very satisfied or quite satisfied with the current state of democracy.

Green party voters were the most satisfied with the current state of democracy, at 79%.

YouGov polled 2,020 Germans from August 22 to September 1. 

Germany's Basic Law turns 70

ed/stb (dpa, epd)

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