Close to half of the German population doesn’t want the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to serve another term, a new poll has found. The result indicates a major fall from grace on the part of the Chancellor, mainly due to her handling of the migrant crisis which has beset Germany in recent months.
Germany is due to go to the polls in 2017 to elect a new government, and Merkel’s Christian Democrat Party had been riding high in public opinion, even daring to hope for an overall majority, the Telegraph has reported.
But in a survey for Bild newspaper, 48 percent have said they would not like to see Merkel continue as Chancellor in the next administration, against 44 percent would be happy to see her stay.
Mrs Merkel has faced considerable criticism for her refusal to back down on an open doors immigration policy, and for stating that Syrian migrants in particular will automatically be granted asylum.
Her government has been attempting to offset the new arrivals by refusing asylum to all applicants from the Balkans, deporting failed claimants as quickly as possible. The first group of 90 failed claimants were transported to Kosovo last week.
Despite these measures, some 950,000 asylum seekers have entered Germany this year, far more than the already-high 800,000 who were expected to come by the end of December. The figure is now likely to top the million mark, as border police figures show that a record 192,827 asylum seekers entered Germany in November alone.
Last year, by comparison, 750,000 children were born in Germany.
According to the poll, 47 percent of Germans think that Mrs Merkel has handled the crisis badly, against 40 percent who think she has done a good job.
Yet Mrs Merkel is not looking at the end of her political career just yet. With no obvious successor within her party, and with the Christian Democrats some 16 points ahead of their nearest rivals in the opinion polls, it is difficult to see how she might be ousted.
Consequently, despite criticism from within the ranks, party members are still backing her leadership. Senior party members have tabled a number of motions for debate at party conference later this month, including a proposed cap on asylum seekers.
But Kai Wegner, the general secretary of the Berlin branch of the party and one of those behind the proposals has spoken in supportive terms, saying: “If we want to meet this challenge, we need Angela Merkel. So this resolution is not against, but for the chancellor.
“We support the federal government’s measures. But Germany’s capacities are limited and we need a Plan B.”