Big parties seen losing groundin regional vote in key state

21st September 2004, Comments 0 comments

21 September 2004 , DUISBURG - The centrist Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) are foreseen losing support among voters in municipal elections in Germany's largest state, North Rhine-Westphalia, according to an opinion poll Tuesday. Two days after both parties lost ground in the state elections in the eastern German states of Saxony and Brandenburg, the University of Duisburg-Essen predicted further slippage for the mainstream parties, with the Greens expected to benefit. Th

21 September 2004

DUISBURG - The centrist Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) are foreseen losing support among voters in municipal elections in Germany's largest state, North Rhine-Westphalia, according to an opinion poll Tuesday.

Two days after both parties lost ground in the state elections in the eastern German states of Saxony and Brandenburg, the University of Duisburg-Essen predicted further slippage for the mainstream parties, with the Greens expected to benefit.

The university's Social Sciences Department said a survey of 1,200 eligible voters in North Rhine-Westphalia showed that the CDU would lose 5.2 percentage points, dropping to 45.1 percent.

The SPD was foreseen dropping 1.3 points to 32.6 percent, according to the survey.

At the same time, the Greens were projected to gain 2.8 points to reach 11.1 percent of the vote, while the centrist Free Democrats were expected to gain 4.5 percent, an improvement of 0.2 percent from the last municipal elections, the university pollsters reported.

Fringe groups, whether rightist parties or the formerly communist Party of Democratic Socialism, were only foreseen getting minimum support. The PDS was projected at 0.8 percent, the same as in the last elections.

The polling group noted that one factor making the projections precarious were the undecided voters, making up about one-fifth of those questioned in the 16 to 20 September.

The municipal elections in the state - Germany's most populous with some 17 million persons - will be the latest barometer reading of the mood of voters amid the popular discontent over the Berlin government's labour and social welfare reforms. At the state level, North Rhine-Westphalia is ruled by a coalition of SPD and Greens.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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