Right wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) is again on the rise in German opinion polls, taking third place nationally for the first time. The party, which is often billed as ‘the German Ukip’, has seen a surge in support thanks to its policies advocating controlled immigration.
The party has been steadily climbing in the polls for the last few months, as disquiet grows in Germany over the government’s open doors policy on immigration. As many as 1 million migrants are expected to come to Germany this year, placing huge pressure on services and social cohesion.
Following the attacks in Paris, perpetrated by at least one, perhaps as many as three terrorists who used the migrant flow across Europe as cover for their movements into France, support for AfD has risen again, allowing the party to overtake its Green Party rivals and claim third place.
In a poll by INSA for Bild, the two sister parties, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and their traditional partners the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), still hold the number one spot, taking 35 percent of voter support. That result represents an increase of one percent on the previous week’s polling.
Their partner in Germany’s ruling ‘grand coalition’, centre-left Social Democratic Party of Germany hasn’t fared so well and has slipped to 23.5 percent, although that leaves it comfortably in second place.
But creeping up behind is AfD, now on 10.5 percent. That result knocks the Greens, now on 10 percent, into fourth place, while bringing up the rear is the classically liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), who slipped one point to land on five percent.
Hermann Binkert, the head of INSA told Bild: “Following the terrorist attacks, the union has received more support,” adding that the result represents a “stabilisation” of their polling figures, following a period of reduced support. He put it down to the notion that, after shocks such as the attack in Paris, voters “tend towards the party of government.”
The headline figures may mask underlying disquiet however. A mid-October poll also by INSA found that one in three German wanted Chancellor Merkel to resign over her handling of the migrant crisis. As Mrs Merkel has dug her heels in this week, insisting that the first duty of Western governments was to provide refugees with “hope”, that figure is only set to rise.