Germany goes to the polls on September 26, after which political parties must put aside their differences and try to form a coalition. During the last two political terms, Germany’s two largest parties, the center-right union and the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), have joined forces to form a grand coalition. But now both parties are anxious for change and Ms Merkel’s party success with voters seems to be faltering – with polls showing a rapid decline earlier this year. But why did support for the CDU / CSU fall before German election?
According to Politico’s opinion poll, Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) is currently in a leading position with 25 percent of the vote.
The tool aggregate tool puts the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) / Christian Social Union (CSU) four percentage points behind by 21 percent on 13 September.
Third and fourth place in the polls are the Green and Free Democratic Party (FDP) with 16 and 12 percent respectively.
The right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD), Die Linke (left) and free voters (FW) are next with 11, six and three percent of the votes, respectively.
Ms Merkel’s party actually did well with voters before March 2021 with 35 to 36 percent of the vote on average.
But support for the CDU / CSU then began to decline and the party saw support for the party fall exponentially – with 24 percent declines from April 24 to May 8 and 21 percent from August 29 to September 13.
New forecasts for this year’s elections currently show that the SPD, FDP and the Greens will make gains, while the CDU / CSU, AfD and the left will see losses in terms of voting share.
And many political experts argue that the fall in aid could be attributed to growing tensions over the coronavirus pandemic.
Germany initially received much praise for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, quickly taking action in the early stages of the crisis by isolating cases and tracking contacts.
This strategy kept the death toll low but now, more than a year later, the situation has been very different this year.
Ms Merkel’s party suffered a record defeat in two regional polls in March amid anger over ongoing coronavirus restrictions, including confused messages and a slow vaccine deployment.
The southwestern states of Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate overwhelmingly rejected the CDU in the elections, instead choosing the Greens and the SPD respectively to mark Merkel’s party’s worst result in Germany after World War II.
Der Spiegel then wrote that Merkel’s house “burned” and added: “It can not continue like this.”
While Markus Blume, the general secretary of the CSU, called the dribble an “alarm clock” and said that the parties would have to “regain trust” as soon as possible if they hoped to get somewhere in federal elections.
He added: “We need clear decisions and a clear course in the fight against the coronavirus.”
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The recent decline in support for the CDU / CSU can also be attributed to the achievements of CDU leader Armin Laschet, who was subjected to being caught on camera laughing during a visit to a flood-hit city.
He was judged to have lost a hot TV debate at the end of August, according to a quick survey for Bild TV which showed that he lost three percentage points to reach a record low of 20 percent.
Germany’s center-left SPD increased its lead and jumped two percentage points to 25 percent – the highest reading in the survey in four years.
However, this is not a new trend – and there has actually been a long-term decline pattern in the votes of the CDU / CSU.
Since the 1983 election, the Union has always voted below 40 percentage points, with one exception when in 2013 the party was able to convince 41.5% of voters to support them.
According to a recent poll published by the Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research and commissioned by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 40 percent of voters are still unsure how to vote on election day.
This figure is record high according to the survey with 63 percent of those surveyed who claim that leading candidates for each of the major parties are not convincing.
A total of 56 percent of voters in the survey said that no party looks like a good choice for them, despite 87 percent saying they plan to vote and 72 percent confident that they will actually vote.
These deplorable responses indicate that the political supply is not really in sync with the demand for elections – which means that the upcoming federal election in 2021 is likely to be the most significant in decades.