A third of voters undecided as election day looms

14th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 September 2005, BERLIN - A surprising 30 per cent of German voters are still undecided a poll showed Wednesday just four days before national elections which may become a neck-and-neck race between Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his challenger Angela Merkel.

14 September 2005

BERLIN - A surprising 30 per cent of German voters are still undecided a poll showed Wednesday just four days before national elections which may become a neck-and-neck race between Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his challenger Angela Merkel.

All polls show conservative Merkel still leads Schroeder's ruling Social Democratic-Greens government, but her Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU) is losing support and unlikely to clinch a majority with its Free Democratic ally.

An Allensbach agency poll said more than 30 per cent of those surveyed between September 4 and 12 were undecided and that 44 per cent "were not really convinced" by any of Germany's parties.

The poll otherwise confirmed findings of all other polling agencies.

Merkel's CDU/CSU-FDP would currently win 48.7 per cent - just short of a majority, Allensbach said. A separate projection by the Election.de agency shows Merkel's bloc lacking three seats in the 606 member parliament needed for a majority.

Schroeder's Social Democratic (SPD)-Greens government would get 40.1 per cent, said Allensbach.

If these figures are confirmed in Sunday's election result the most likely scenario is that Merkel will seek a grand coalition with Schroeder's SPD as junior partner.

But there is growing speculation that Schroeder may try to cling to power by expanding his government to include the opposition Free Democrats who are widely seen as desperate to get back into government.

FDP chief Guido Westerwelle vows he will not join a Schroeder government but his position in the party is wobbly and he could be swept from office after elections.

In any case, most polls show no majority for an SPD-Greens-FDP government. Allensbach gives such an alliance 47.1 per cent.

Another option for Schroeder, ruling with the new Left Party, is ruled out not just by the Chancellor but by almost all analysts who say SPD moderates would likely revolt against such a government.

The Left Party, an alliance of former East Germany's communists and a western German protest group of rebel SPD members and unionists, is currently at 8.5 per cent, said Allensbach.

Schroeder and his party faithful view as a traitor former SPD leader Oskar Lafontaine who now heads the Left Party's election list and has been sniping at the German leader for the past seven years.

DPA

Subject: German news

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