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Germany’s Far-Right AfD Overtakes Social Democrats in Poll
International

Germany’s Far-Right AfD Overtakes Social Democrats in Poll

A poll published on behalf of German tabloid Bild has found that 16% of voters would choose the right-wing, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), half-a-percent more than those who would vote for the Social Democrats (SPD).
The figures released by the INSA polling institute show the SPD in free fall. Germany’s oldest political party has seen its polling figures plummet even further since it garnered just 20.5% of the vote in September’s federal election, its worst result in the post-war era, DW reported.
DW political correspondent Thomas Sparrow described the poll as a “bombshell,” and part of a larger trend that sees traditional parties losing ground to the anti-immigrant AFD.
“Let’s not forget that the AFD entered the German parliament for the first time in September, they became Germany’s third most important force political in the parliament and they tap essentially into people’s fears,” Sparrow told DW television. “We are talking here about immigration, about their suspicions regarding the establishment, the established political parties, that’s one of the reasons why they had been able to take some of those voters away from both the Conservatives and the Social Democrats.”
The newspaper Bild described the survey “a bitter blow” for the SPD, while INSA chief Hermann Binkert said the poll showed that “the conservative bloc is currently the only truly mainstream party.”
The news will add to the Social Democrats’ woes, whose members on Tuesday will begin voting on whether to forge another “grand coalition” with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives .
According to Sparrow, the fall of the SPD cannot be blamed squarely on the populist forces. The left-leaning party has lost its political “profile” by entering two grand coalitions with Angela Merkel, with the right-leaning chancellor taking away “some of the core elements” of the SPD’s identity.
“Let’s not forget that Social Democrats–for a very long time–were a natural home of Germany’s working class. And, to a certain extent, they lost that idea,” Sparrow said.

 

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