German Chancellor Angela Merkel's popularity reaches new peak
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has soared to a new high in a popularity poll published today.
9th April 2008
Berlin - The Forsa survey found that 60 per cent of the electorate would vote for the Christian Democrat (CDU) leader if a direct election for the chancellorship were held.
The poll, commissioned by Stern magazine and commercial broadcaster RTL, put Kurt Beck, the head of the Social Democrats (SPD), the CDU's main political rival, on just 12 per cent.
In the party stakes, the SPD managed to regain some lost ground, rising 1 percentage point on the previous week to 24 per cent, well behind the 38 per cent scored by the CDU together with its Bavarian sister, the CSU.
The party, Germany's oldest political formation with a tradition reaching back into the mid-19th century, has recently sunk to a postwar low in the polls.
In the poll of 2,503 respondents taken last week, the Left was on 13 per cent, while the liberal FDP was on 11 and the Greens on 10.
A poll published on Friday revealed that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, an SPD member, had passed Merkel as Germany's most popular politician.
Parliamentary elections must be held by September 2009. The German chancellor is not chosen by direct vote but by the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament.
While Merkel is seen as certain to lead her CDU/CSU into the elections, Beck has said he will wait before deciding on the SPD candidate for the chancellorship.