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Poll shows 'reds & greens' could topple Merkel

February 19, 2017

A new poll in Germany shows the Social Democrats (SPD) still gaining in popularity. The results indicate that they could potentially form a majority coalition with the Greens and Left party if elections were held soon.

Symbolbild Rot-Rot-Grüne Koalition
Image: Imago/C. Ohde

Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) have again overtaken the conservative bloc of the Christian Democrats (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU) in a poll, the "Bild am Sonntag" newspaper reported on Sunday.

The "Sonntagstrend" survey by the polling institute Emnid showed the SPD climbing by one percentage point over the week to reach 33 percent, while the CDU and its Bavarian sister party CSU fell by one point in the ratings to receive 32 percent.

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Schulz has proven a popular choice as SPD leaderImage: picture-alliance/dpa/K. Nietfeld

The result marks the first time in 10 years that the leftist SPD has achieved ascendancy over the conservative parties in the "Sonntagstrend" poll, which Emnid conducts weekly for "Bild am Sonntag."

Another recent poll conducted for the "Bild" newspaper by the Insa institute also showed the SPD ahead of the CDU/CSU bloc for the first time in a decade.

Popular leader

With the Left party and the Greens remaining stable at 8 and 7 percent respectively, the poll indicates that a coalition of the three leftist parties - which would be called a red-red-green coalition according to the German political color-coding system - would have a ruling majority if elections were held in a week's time.

The recent success of the SPD in surveys is widely attributed to the party's choice of charismatic former European Parliament President Martin Schulz as its new leader to replace Sigmar Gabriel , who has stepped down as party chief and become the German foreign minister.

The business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP) also maintained its popularity in the poll, scoring 6 percent. But the anti-immigration, euroskeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) continued its downward trajectory, losing one percentage point to hit 9 percent, its lowest popularity rating in the poll in a year.

German federal elections are scheduled for September 24 this year.

tj/rc (AFP, dpa)