Merkel's popularity belies lack of faith on coalition

9th July 2008, Comments 0 comments

German chancellor Angela Merkel is more popular than ever but her own Christian Democrats are not enjoying the same success

Berlin -- Chancellor Angela Merkel is riding high in German public opinion, enjoying support well beyond her own Christian Democratic Union (CDU), according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The survey of more than 2,500 voters by the Forsa Institute found that 62 per cent of the electorate wanted the chancellor to continue in office past elections due in September next year.

While 69 per cent passed a positive verdict on the chancellor's achievements since her broad coalition government took power in November 2005, only 36 per cent took a positive view of the government as a whole.

Merkel was popular even with the Social Democrats (SPD), the junior partner in the coalition, and with the opposition Greens, with a majority of supporters from both parties happy to see her remain in office through the next elections.

A huge majority - 82 per cent - said Merkel represented Germany well abroad, with even 72 per cent of supporters of the socialist Left Party giving the chancellor good marks in this area.

The chancellor's popularity failed to rub off on her conservative Christian bloc. Support for the CDU and its Bavarian sister-party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) was at around 36 per cent, according to the poll commissioned by the weekly Stern magazine.

Germany's other main party, the SPD, continued to languish near its postwar lows, securing just 22 per cent support.

Merkel's preferred partner, the liberal FDP, was on 13 per cent, leaving a centre-right coalition of CDU/CSU and FDP short of the required majority.

The Greens, the SPD's partner under the previous chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, were on 10 per cent, while the Left, which remains ostracized by the other parties at federal level, was on 13 per cent. DPA

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