Poll: Germany’s AfD Populists Second Most Popular Party for First Time

Germany’s insurgent right-wing populist party has overtaken the left-leaning Social Democrats to become the nation’s second most popular political force for the first time, a poll shows.

Alternative for Germany (AfD) is now backed by 16 per cent of voters, surging past the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), which is on 15.5 per cent, the Insa poll for the Bild newspaper found.

The sister Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) parties, known collectively as the Union, were backed by 47.5 per cent of voters.

Around 13 per cent, meanwhile, said they would vote for the Green party, according to the poll.

UKIP appeared to welcome on social media the news that their fellow Eurosceptics were gaining support in Germany.

The AfD got around 12.6 per cent of the vote in Germany’s federal elections last year, entering the legislature for the first time ever.

The SPD, meanwhile, had their worst election performance in the post-war period, and their recent polling results are the lowest since Insa began running the survey in 2012.

In a Forsa RTL poll published on the same day, the SPD slumped to their worst level of support in 25 years, with them backed by just 16 per cent of respondents. Yet the AfD remained behind them in this poll, at 13 per cent.

And in an ARD poll published by Infratest Dimap last week, the two parties were just one percentage point apart, with the SPD on 16 per cent and the AfD on 15 per cent.

The SPD’s 464,000 members are currently awaiting a postal ballot on whether they should go ahead with an agreement struck by their leaders last week to re-enter a coalition government with Union parties.

The vote begins this Tuesday, the 20th of February, and the results are expected on the 20th of March.

Martin Schulz, the former European Parliament president, recently stepped down as SPD leader and many in the party are unhappy with the prospect of renewing an alliance with the struggling Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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