Sunday Poll: German Populist AfD Party Hits Record High Popularity

STUTTGART, GERMANY - APRIL 30: Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) co-deputy head Beatrix von Storch pictured at the party's federal congress on April 30, 2016 in Stuttgart, Germany. The AfD, a relative newcomer to the German political landscape, has emerged from Euro-sceptic conservatism towards a more right-wing leaning appeal based in …
Thomas Lohnes/Getty

In a new poll by Das Bild, the broadly Eurosceptic AfD party has risen to a record high of 16 percent approval nationally, while Merkel’s ruling coalition has fallen below the 50 percent mark for the first time in its existence.

The weekly “Sunday Trend” poll conducted by Emnid for Bild am Sonntag between June 14 and 20 asked a sample of 2,336 people which party they would vote for if there were federal elections next Sunday. For the first time, the ruling “grand coalition” between the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democratic Party (SPD) drew less than half (49 percent), at 31 and 18 percent respectively.

The biggest loss was suffered by Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU united party due to internal struggles over Germany’s immigration crisis, with the party falling from 33 to 31 percent. In early May, the union party was higher still, at 34 percent.

A fierce dispute over asylum policy has erupted between the two parties over the last 10 days, with Interior Minister Horst Seehofer of the Bavarian-based Christian Social Union (CSU) wanting to reject refugees registered in other EU states at the German border and threatening to enforce this unilaterally. Chancellor Merkel (CDU) rejects the project and wants to negotiate European Union solutions by the end of the month.

The AFP reported on June 15 that a majority of Germans (62 percent) support Seehofer in wanting to see “undocumented asylum seekers” turned away at the border, while 86 percent said they want to see faster deportations of migrants whose asylum claims have been rejected.

According to the Pew Research Center, the struggle between the CDU and the CSU over German immigration policy “could, if not resolved, lead to the fall of the Merkel government.”

Germany had some 200,000 asylum seekers in 2017, more than any other country in Europe, and the current dispute “reflects a public backlash in Germany against immigrants,” Pew declared.

Meanwhile, Merkel’s decline in popularity has been accompanied by an upswing in support for the populist Alternative für Deutschland party (‘Alternative for Germany/AfD). Sunday’s Bild poll found that the AfD gained a point, rising to 16 percent, the highest value the AfD has ever reached in the Sunday trend.

“The Merkel coalition is in decline and the reason is Merkel’s immigration policy,” Beatrix von Storch, AfD’s Deputy Leader, told Breitbart News on Monday.

“Merkel is isolated in Europe and it is unclear whether she still has the support of her own coalition,” von Storch continued. “In polls, a majority of the German people support AfD positions and even in the press voices grow louder in support for an end to Merkel’s open-border policy and an end to her chancellorship.”

Von Storch also said that the tide has definitely turned in Germany and the German people will never go back.

“The AfD has changed the political landscape in Germany significantly and the long-lasting political shift to the left has finally come to an end,” she said. “We can proudly say, that Germany is now a very different country than it was before the AfD moved into the German national Parliament.”

“The ‘refugee-welcoming’ movement is politically dead,” she concluded. “The end of Merkel’s chancellorship will create new chances for the West beyond multiculturalism and a one-world, globalist ideology.”

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