German Social Democrats overtook Merkel’s party in polls for the first time


The election campaign in Germany brings new surprises. Almost a month before the elections to the Bundestag, which will be held on September 26, the Christian Democratic Union, which was still considered the favorite of the race, lost in the ranking to the Social Democrats – its junior coalition partners. This happened for the first time in 15 years, Deutsche Welle notes. 
Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia and candidate for chancellor of the CDU/CSU Armin Laschet elbow bumps German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a CDU/CSU campaign kick off ahead of the federal election at Tempodrom in Berlin, Germany, August 21, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse
According to the Forsa Institute, the CDU, in which Chancellor Angela Merkel is a member, together with the Bavarian Christian Social Union (they traditionally go to the elections in one bundle) are recruiting 22 percent, down one percentage point from a week ago. In historical retrospect, this is the worst result of the Conservatives since 1984 according to Forsa.

But the Social Democratic Party of Germany improved its result by as much as two percentage points – it was supported by 23 percent of respondents. Thus, for the first time, not only in this race, but also in the last 15 years, the SPD has overtaken the CDU / CSU alliance in the polls of the institute.

The Greens also dropped by one percent – 18 percent of respondents are ready to vote for them.

The rest showed a stable result: Free Democratic Party – 12 percent, “Alternative for Germany” – 10 percent, Left – 6 percent.

Earlier head of the SPD electoral list, incumbent finance minister Olaf Scholz also pulled ahead in the personal race of candidates for chancellor. According to a poll by the Institute of Public Opinion INSA, in early August, 27 percent of Germans were ready to vote for 63-year-old Scholz. But the candidates from the CDU and the Greens were left far behind: Armin Laschet could receive only 14 percent of the vote, and Annalena Berbock – 13. Of course, such a formulation of the question is conditional, because in Germany the head of government is not directly elected.

Many experts in Germany believe that, unlike the Social Democrats, Merkel’s party miscalculated by betting on the head of the CDU, North Rhine-Westphalia Prime Minister Laschet. Perhaps, if the charismatic leader of the sister CSU, Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Seder, had been the alliance’s candidate for chancellor, the Conservative rating would not have floated so rapidly five weeks before the elections.