Germany’s ruling coalition parties hit all-time low, Greens on the up

A poll published on Friday says Germany's governing coalition parties - the CDU/CSU and SPD - would receive just 39 percent of the vote if there were Bundestag elections on Sunday, the lowest ever combined result.

Germany's ruling coalition parties hit all-time low, Greens on the up
Archive picture of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), Horst Seehofer (CSU) and Andrea Nahles (SPD). Photo: DPA

The Union and the Social Democrats had reached a combined total of 53 percent of the vote after the Bundestag elections last year and they went on to form the grand coalition, reports Tagesschau.

But according to the latest ‘Deutschlandtrend' survey published by German broadcaster ARD, the CDU/CSU would get 25 percent of the vote and the SPD 14 percent. This is the worst result for both parties since the poll started in 1997.

In total, the governing coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD would receive just 39 percent of the votes – in the 2017 federal elections that took place in September last year, both together still reached 53.5 percent.

Greens and AfD in front of SPD

The Greens have celebrated rising election poll results recently and a surge in membership – and at the recent Bavaria state election the party scooped 17.5 percent. In Friday's survey, 19 percent of respondents said they would vote for the Greens, the highest figure since September 2011.

A total of 16 percent would vote in favour of the AfD, meaning that the both parties are ahead of the SPD.

The Left (Die Linke) would get nine percent of the votes and the Free Democrats (FDP) eleven percent.

Compared to the 'Deutschlandtrend' survey on October 11th, 2018, the CDU/CSU, SPD and the Left each lose one percentage point. The FDP gains one percentage point, the Greens two percentage points. The voting share for the AfD remains unchanged.

Loss of stability or igniting the debate?

The poll also showed that 51 percent of those eligible to vote are concerned that the dwindling support of the CDU, CSU and SPD – the so-called German Volksparteien, or peoples' parties – could jeopardize political stability in Germany.

SEE ALSO: The winners and losers – 7 things you need to know about the Bavaria election

But 47 percent of respondents do not share this fear. They expect the new balance of power to lead to broader political debates with several small to medium-sized parties.

Half of the supporters of the Left, Greens and FDP also share the concern about the loss of importance of the mainstream parties. Among AfD supporters, the figure is just under a third.

A total of 1040 voters were interviewed by the Infratest dimap institute for the survey this week and they were asked to answer the questions as if Bundestag elections were taking place Sunday.

Coalition talks continue in Bavaria

The survey was released as the CSU and Free Voters continued their negotiations in a bid to form a coalition together in the southern German state of Bavaria. It came after a short consultation phase between the two parties following the state election on Sunday.

SEE ALSO: CSU and Free Voters begin coalition talks in Bavaria

The CSU dropped 10 percentage points to receive 37.2 percent of the vote, losing their absolute majority, while the Free Voters received 11.6 percent.

The parties “have left no doubt that they see themselves as partners”, reports DPA. The CSU is counting on stability, while Free Voters stress that they see no obstacles to forming a coalition, the press agency adds.

The chairman of the Greens, Robert Habeck, expressed his disappointment with the CSU decision. He told the German media group RND that choosing the Free Voters was “comfortable” for the party but showed the CSU had no desire for change.

Habeck said he interpreted the result of the Bavarian state elections as an appeal for Greens to be in the government in Bavaria participation in the government.

SEE ALSO: Why there was no political earthquake in Bavaria – but Germany is still shaking things up

“The voters gave us the task of implementing a real political breakthrough for Bavaria,” he said. Habeck told RND that “we were clearly voted the second strongest force”.

Politics pause

Meanwhile, in a departure away from politics but sticking with voting, Friday's Deutschlandtrend poll also asked about an apolitical topic: the national football coach.

Despite the recent defeats of the German national football team, support for coach Joachim Löw apparently continues.

A relative majority of 43 percent of the respondents is in favour of Löw remaining national coach. A total of 34 percent said they wanted a replacement, while 20 percent said they were not interested in football and therefore had no opinion on the subject.

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Scholz calls on coalition to ‘pull ourselves together’

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday called on his fractious governing coalition to "pull ourselves together" following a dismal showing in EU parliament elections last week.

Scholz calls on coalition to 'pull ourselves together'

In power since the end of 2021, the three parties in government — Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the liberal FDP — have been at loggerheads on a wide range of issues including climate measures and budget spending.

“I think that this is one of the entirely justified criticisms of many citizens, namely that there is too much debate” within the coalition, Scholz told German television channel ZDF on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy.

“We need to pull ourselves together and stick together to reach agreements,” he added.

“The people have the right to demand that things change,” Scholz told public broadcaster ARD.

The three parties in the coalition suffered a severe defeat in the European elections, with the SPD achieving its worst result in a national election since 1949.

Subsequently, Scholz has faced mounting criticism within his own party.

On Saturday, however, Scholz told ZDF and ARD that he was “sure” that he would be the SPD’s next candidate for the chancellorship in the parliamentary elections scheduled for autumn 2025.

In the very short term, a new test awaits the coalition, which must reach an agreement on the 2025 budget by the beginning of July.

The FDP’s finance minister is opposed to any exceptions to the rules limiting debt and to any tax increases.

On the other hand, the SPD and the Greens are opposed to cuts in social welfare or climate protection.

The debate is also focused on increasing the resources allocated to the German army.