Majority of Germans Oppose Merkel-Led Grand-Coalition

SPD leader Martin Schulz says it is not “automatic” that talks will result in another “grand coalition,” reiterating that multiple options are on the table
SPD leader Martin Schulz (L) and Chancellor Angela MerkelSPD leader Martin Schulz (L) and Chancellor Angela Merkel

More than half of Germans are against another “grand coalition” between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU bloc and the Social Democrats, a new poll has revealed.

The poll by the public broadcaster ARD found 52% of the Germans believed Merkel’s coalition with Social Democratic Party (SPD) would be “bad” or “less good” for Germany, Anadolu reported, adding that 45% supported a coalition government.

Skepticism over another “grand coalition” was higher among the voters of the SPD.

While 69% of the CDU/CSU voters supported joining a coalition with the Social Democrats, only 46% of the SPD voters said they were in favor of a conservative-led grand coalition government.

Close to 51% of the SPD voters said “grand coalition” would be “bad” or “less good”.

Germany’s center-left Social Democrats agreed to enter into talks with  Merkel’s conservatives about possibly forming a new government, according to a report last week.

SPD leadership met Monday and unanimously decided on opening talks with Merkel’s Christian Democrats and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, Reuters reported.

The talks would examine all possibilities for building a government, including another “grand coalition” between the SPD and the conservatives or a Merkel-led minority government in which the SPD agrees to support her on certain issues.

The news comes after SPD leader Martin Schulz met with Merkel, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and CSU leader Horst Seehofer last week. At the time, Schulz said it was not “automatic” that talks would result in another “grand coalition,” reiterating that multiple options are on the table.

After receiving just over 20% in September’s general election, Schulz announced that the SPD would go into opposition and would not be available to form a government with Merkel’s conservatives. However, under pressure to reconsider after talks collapsed between the conservatives, the liberal Free Democrats and the Greens, Schulz agreed late last month to consider coalition talks.

Schulz is scheduled to meet Merkel and Christian Social Union (CSU) leader Horst Seehofer on Wednesday.

Merkel turned to the SPD after she failed to form a three-way alliance with the left-leaning Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats, plunging Germany into a political impasse and raising doubt about her future after 12 years in power.

On the highly divisive issue of immigration, one of the main reasons for the collapse of Merkel’s first effort, the SPD said it opposed a conservative plan to extend a ban on the right to family reunions for some asylum seekers that expires in March.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints