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SPD Narrows Gap With Merkel’s Conservatives

A worker pastes up an election campaign poster for the upcoming general elections of the Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) with a headshot of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany on September 12.
A worker pastes up an election campaign poster for the upcoming general elections of the Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) with a headshot of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany on September 12.

Germany’s center-left Social Democrats (SPD) slightly narrowed their gap with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in a poll published on Tuesday five days before a federal election.

The weekly survey, conducted by Forsa for RTL television and Stern magazine, showed support for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) bloc down one percentage point at 36% while the SPD was unchanged on 23%, Reuters reported.

The far-left party Die Linke scored 10%, which would make it the third-strongest political force in the next Bundestag lower house of parliament.

The business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) and the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), which is critical of the European Union, both came in at 9%. The environmentalist Greens stood at 8%.

This means that only another grand coalition of Merkel’s conservatives with the SPD or a nationwide untested three-way “Jamaica” alliance of the conservatives, FDP and Greens would have a stable majority, the pollster said.

The poll of a representative sample of 2,501 people was conducted between September 11 and 15. It had a margin of error of +/-2.5 percentage points.

Jamaica coalition is a term in German politics describing a coalition among the parties of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Green Party.

The term refers to an association between the symbolic colors of the parties in such a coalition —black for the conservative CDU/CSU; yellow for the liberal FDP; and green for the Green Party— and the colors of the flag of Jamaica. It also alludes to the perception (from a German point of view) of such an alliance as an “exotic” constellation.

 

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