A new survey shows 64 percent of Germans do not want Chancellor Angela Merkel to stay on for another term, as her coalition plummets in the polls.
New findings from a poll conducted by German magazine Cicero show that 64 per cent of Germans do not want to see current Chancellor Angela Merkel seek a new term in the office. The poll was carried out by the Insa institute and found that the rejection of Mrs. Merkel came strongest from 45 to 54 year old men and women in a survey of 2,000 participants, Frankfurter Allgemeine reports.
Chancellor Merkel is from Eastern Germany, the residents of which are her harshest opponents with 79 per cent of people polled in Thuringia and 76 per cent in Saxony wanting to see her gone after the federal elections next year.
The results from these regions come as no surprise as the anti-mass migration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) has huge support in Eastern Germany and saw massive gains in local elections in the region earlier this year.
Even in regions where Mrs. Merkel is supposed to have broad support, such as in Bremen, 55 per cent of those polled do not want to see her at the helm of Germany after 2017.
Support for Mrs. Merkel’s grand coalition between her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Socialist Party (SPD) has also dropped sharply since the last federal election in 2013.
The approval for the government has dropped from 63 per cent to 50 per cent with some speculating that the continued rise of the AfD and other factors, such as the possible resignation of the SPD leader, Sigmar Gabriel, may bring the polls down even more; Mr Gabriel has denied rumours of his stepping down as Vice Chancellor.
At least one politician is trying to tell Mrs. Merkel she needs to listen to the fears of AfD supporters and head more to the right. CDU politician Ruprecht Polenz has said, according to Die Welt, that he sees the recent sudden resignation of Austrian chancellor Werner Faymann as a warning. He says that the situation in Vienna, which also has a grand coalition between the socialists and conservatives, may be bad for the credibility of both parties in the long term.
Mr. Polenz said the only answer to the rise of the AfD is for the conservative party to stop being centrist and move back toward its roots on the right.
“The CDU may lose what they have in the middle, but would gain on the right” in terms of voters, he said. He recommended that the party not look for a grand coalition at the elections next year, but rather run to win with a right wing platform.