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In hot water

January 19, 2012

A new poll shows that public sentiment is still souring on President Christian Wulff in the wake of a financial scandal. The poll also implied, however, that the opposition is not capitalizing on the scandal.

President Christian Wulff
Support for Wulff continues to ebb among the publicImage: picture-alliance/dpa

In a poll released on Thursday, Germany's public broadcaster ARD announced that President Christian Wulff is still in hot water with the German public over a financial scandal.

Of the 1,000 German citizens polled this week for ARD, 46 percent wanted to see Wulff leave office as opposed to 45 percent who thought he should stay on in his capacity as Germany's mainly ceremonial president.

These numbers stand in contrast to an earlier poll by ARD from January 12, when 56 percent said they believed Wulff should stay, and only 41 percent indicated that they wanted him out.

The president has faced growing pressure to step down since December, when it emerged that he failed to declare a private loan when he was state premier of Lower Saxony in 2008. He is reported to have received the loan in the form of a 500,000 euro ($636,000) check.

Election reflections

When asked who they would vote for if federal elections were to take place this weekend, German voters made their support for the incumbents fairly clear. Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) garnered 36 percent and their coalition partners, the business-friendly Free Democrats, the CDU's partner in government, also saw a modest recovery of one percentage point to three percent from their historical low.

The main opposition party, which has been vocal in its attacks on the CDU's President Wulff, have apparently not capitalized on the scandal, as their poll results decreased by one percentage point to 29 percent. The Green party also saw a slight drop to 15 percent.

The Left party gained one point for a total of seven percent of the theoretical vote, and the Pirate party raked in six percent, which would assure their presence in the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, if the vote took place this weekend.

Author: Stuart Tiffen (Reuters, dpa)
Editor: Nancy Isenson