Germany’s anti-mass migration, eurosceptic political party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), is enjoying success in opinion polls on the back of the ongoing migrant crisis.
The party, known by some as the ‘German UKIP’, has reached 11.5 per cent in a recent INSA Meinungstrend poll of voting intentions in a Federal general election. That puts the AfD at an all time high, in third place behind Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union, which polled 35 per cent, and the centre-left Social Democratic Party at 21.5 per cent.
Behind the three leading parties the Green Party and the Left Party share fourth place at 10 per cent apiece, and the centre-right Free Democratic Party would, at six per cent, win enough voted for it to be able to re-enter the Bundestag (the Federal parliament) having been eradicated in the last Federal general election. The next actual general election will be held at some point in August to October 2017.
The AfD has strongly criticised Chancellor Merkel’s migrant policy and calls for a restoration of the Deutschmark to replace the euro currency. Similarly to Britain’s Conservative government, the party, which was only founded in 2013, also seeks an end to ever-closer-union in the European Union.
After coming close to entering the Bundestag soon after its founding in 2013, it won seats in the 2014 European Parliament elections where it sits in the European Conservatives and Reformists Group alongside British Conservative MEPs. It then won representation in five German state assemblies after widening its appeal with populist positions on law and order, immigration and traditional social values.
The AfD party leadership will be heartened by the news as it reaffirms their support. In the autumn of 2015 it first reached double figures in opinion polls, but as Breitbart London then reported it risked being weakened by internal division. It now appears to have overcome those problems to secure its status as a serious political player.
The rise of right-wing populism is not confined to Germany. Other parties across the continent are polling strongly: in Austria the Freedom Party drew or led opinion polls conducted in the latter half of 2015; in Sweden some polls have shown the Sweden Democrats in first place; in the Netherlands Geert Wilders’ Party For Freedom has also been vying for first place; and France’s Front National dominated the first round of the most recent regional elections before failing to secure any gains in the second.