Through the Wire

Merkel’s Coalition Has Re-Election Majority, Forsa Poll Says

April 10, 2013
| Economics
| Europe

April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Support for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition rose to the highest level since January 2010 in a weekly Forsa poll, as her junior partner showed signs of recovery less than six months before German national elections.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc rose one percentage point to 41 percent in the poll for Hamburg-based Stern magazine and RTL television released today. Her Free Democratic Party coalition partner had 6 percent, also up one point and the fourth straight week it has been above the 5 percent threshold needed to win seats in parliament. With a combined 47 percent, Merkel has a clear majority for the first time in more than three years, Stern said.

With political maneuvering under way before the Sept. 22 vote, the main opposition Social Democratic Party is struggling against strong public backing for Merkel’s handling of the euro- area crisis and with an unpopular lead candidate, Peer Steinbrueck.

As Social Democrats prepare for an April 14 convention that will vote on the party’s election platform, the SPD dropped a point to 23 percent, the same level as its historic low in the last election in 2009. Its traditional Green Party ally had 14 percent, also down a point.

“If the SPD had a charismatic chancellor candidate then Merkel would be regarded more critically,” Forsa chief Manfred Guellner was quoted by Stern as saying. As it is, with Merkel in charge, “people have the feeling that they’re in good hands,” he said. “A rerun of the coalition now looks possible, something that was doubtful for a long time.”

Even with the anti-capitalist Left Party, which gained a point to 9 percent, the three opposition parties have a combined score of 46 percent, one short of Merkel’s coalition. The SPD and Greens say they won’t form a coalition with the Left Party, which is the successor to former East Germany’s communists.

Forsa polled 2,002 voters on April 2-5. The results have a margin of error of as much as 2.5 percentage points.

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