Dip in support for Greens tilts German election Merkel's way

Neither Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives nor the Social Democrats would be able to govern alone, opening the way for talks with smaller parties in their efforts to forge a stable coalition government.
Neither Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives nor the Social Democrats would be able to govern alone, opening the way for talks with smaller parties in their efforts to forge a stable coalition government.PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN • Support for Germany's opposition Greens has fallen to its lowest level in almost 15 years, a Forsa poll showed yesterday, hitting the chances of a left-leaning coalition snatching power from Chancellor Angela Merkel in September's national election.

Results of the survey were published a day after the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), hoping to reclaim its traditional role as kingmaker after the Sept 24 election, remained coy over which of the two main parties it might join in a coalition government.

The Forsa survey for magazine Stern and broadcaster RTL shows the Greens shedding one point to 6 per cent - their weakest reading in that poll since August 2002. It leaves them hovering just above the 5 per cent threshold parties need to enter Parliament.

A separate survey by pollster Insa, published yesterday, also had the Greens on 6 per cent - behind the FDP, with 6.5 per cent and so on track to return to national Parliament after crashing out in the 2013 election.

Some polls suggest a left-leaning "red-red-green" alliance of the Social Democrats (SPD), the far-left Linke party and the Greens could emerge after the election.

But media reports also suggest that the FDP is now being courted by the centre-left SPD as a possible alternative to the far-left Linke.

The Forsa survey shows Dr Merkel's conservatives unchanged compared with the previous week on 36 per cent, while the SPD remained on 30 per cent. The far-left Linke gained one point to 9 per cent. It also improved by half a percentage point in the INSA survey - to 9 per cent.

The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany was unchanged in both surveys, on 8 per cent (Forsa) and 10 per cent (INSA).

The party has lost momentum amid a drop in migrant arrivals and infighting.

Opinion polls suggest six party groups, including the FDP, will enter Parliament after the election, up from four now.

Neither Dr Merkel's conservatives nor the SPD would be able to govern alone, opening the way for talks with smaller parties in their efforts to forge a stable coalition government.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2017, with the headline 'Dip in support for Greens tilts German election Merkel's way'. Print Edition | Subscribe