Germany’s leading party has plunged into a crisis following the disappointing results achieved at the European elections on May 26. And a latest survey signalled the CDU and its Bavarian counterpart CSU haven’t yet regained the support of their electorate. A poll by Forsa carried out between June 17 and 21 on 2,500 people indicated the CDU and CSU have been pushed in second place on 24 percent, while the Greens obtained 27 percent of the preferences.
Far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) looked stable on 13 precent, while the historical socialist party, SPD, continued to lose consensus – obtaining only 12 percent.
Liberal ALDE and left-wing LINKE came in joint last position with 8 percent.
Such an outstanding growth of the Greens could push on the brink the governing coalition formed by CDU, CSU and SPD.
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Many in the latter party believe leaders should quit the Government and rebuild strength and voters’ faith in the opposition.
This would throw the Government into chaos, as it would lose its majority and likely force out Mrs Merkel before the end of her mandate.
The German Chancellor announced in October last year she will step down in 2021 and has already eased in Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, also known as AKK, as her successor following her election at last December’s party conference.
Mrs Merkel’s successor is already under scrutiny for the way she has been handling the party and her reaction to the European elections.
The CDU slumped from the 37.5 percent gathered in 2014 to 28.9 percent, losing votes to the Greens and the AfD.
Two party officials even claimed Mrs Merkel has lost faith in her former protégée.
Speaking to Bloomberg in the aftermath of the European elections, they said Mrs Merkel was initially believed to be leaving the head of the party at the end of this year, but she is now thinking to remain until the end of her term.
Mrs Merkel has shrugged off this allegation as “rubbish”.
But AKK has remained far from silent over the Greens’ growth, warning they were too ideologically close to the Die Linke party, representing the radical left.
She told Bild am Sonntag newspaper: “People who dream of a new Green-led government need to know that they could wake up with Die Linke in power.”
However, polls suggest AKK’s popularity has been constantly falling in the past months.
In December, AKK was the second-most popular politician in Germany behind Mrs Merkel.
But by the end of March, her approval ratings had fallen from 48 to 36 percent, just days after she signalled a desire of changing Mrs Merkel’s signature open-border policy and made a joke about gender-neutral toilets.