Merkel governing partner never more unpopular as elections near

Dwindling support for the SPD, particularly in regional elections in three eastern German states this fall, may prompt party leaders already unhappy with Dr Angela Merkel's coalition to jump ship definitively.
Dwindling support for the SPD, particularly in regional elections in three eastern German states this fall, may prompt party leaders already unhappy with Dr Angela Merkel's coalition to jump ship definitively.PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (BLOOMBERG) - Support for Chancellor Angela Merkel's junior coalition partner slipped to its worst-ever in an opinion poll published on Tuesday (Aug 6), strengthening the possibility an already frayed government could fall apart.

The Social Democratic Party, or SPD, got only 11.5 per cent in the latest Insa poll for Bild newspaper, the lowest ever in that survey and one percentage point down on the previous week, Bild said.

Dr Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU bloc scored 27.5 per cent, while the far-right AfD party was on 15 per cent, both up by half a point. Backing for the Greens was down one point on 23.5 per cent.

Dwindling support for the SPD, particularly in regional elections in three eastern German states this fall, may prompt party leaders already unhappy with Dr Merkel's coalition to jump ship definitively.

That could mean Europe's largest economy would either be run by a minority government or face a snap election.

Many of the Social Democrats, once Germany's largest political force, say they are being punished by voters because too few of their campaign promises are being carried out in the Merkel administration.

Disagreements between the two coalition partners range from environmental issues to immigration. The SPD is to elect a new leadership later this year.

The right-wing AfD party and the Greens stand to gain the most in Sept 1 elections in the eastern states of Saxony and Brandenburg, polls show.

The Insa survey polled 2,049 people between Aug 2 and Aug 5 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.