Schroeder surges in polls

20th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

20 October 2004 , BERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats continued to rise in opinion polls Wednesday as the lead still held by Germany's opposition conservatives melts amid infighting over party posts and policy. The weekly Forsa agency poll gives the Chancellor's Social Democrats (SPD) 33 percent - a solid two percentage point increase over last week. Meanwhile, the opposition Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU) is at 38 percent, down one percentage point. Given the poll's margin of

20 October 2004

BERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats continued to rise in opinion polls Wednesday as the lead still held by Germany's opposition conservatives melts amid infighting over party posts and policy.

The weekly Forsa agency poll gives the Chancellor's Social Democrats (SPD) 33 percent - a solid two percentage point increase over last week.

Meanwhile, the opposition Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU) is at 38 percent, down one percentage point.

Given the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, the SPD and CDU/CSU could now be in a statistical dead heat, according to the poll conducted for Stern magazine and RTL TV.

A separate Allensbach poll confirmed the trend of rising support for Schroeder and erosion for the CDU/CSU, but it showed a far bigger gap between the parties.

The opposition CDU/CSU are at 41.5 percent, compared with just 27 percent for the SPD, said the Allensbach poll published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.

Both polls show the SPD has been in recovery since early this year when the CDU/CSU lurched into decline after Schroeder's party crashed to record lows last winter of just over 20 percent when the CDU/CSU were coasting at a comfy 50 percent.

The poll shift comes as anger over Schroeder's cuts to jobless benefits are fading with the government vowing not water down its reforms of German social welfare, healthcare, taxes.

In contrast, there is bitter infighting among CDU/CSU leaders over issues ranging from how to revamp healthcare to allowing Turkey join the European Union. There is also jousting over who will challenge Schroeder in Germany's 2006 general election.

The main opposition CDU has been rife with rumours of a coup aimed at toppling party leader Angela Merkel who earlier this month forced out the party's widely respected finance policy spokesman, Friedrich Merz.

A replacement chosen by Merkel, former party chief Wolfgang Schaeuble, earlier this week declined to take the job.

This forced a chastened Merkel to split the post between two little known CDU officials: Ronald Pofalla and Michael Meister.

The reaction has been negative: "Merkel's last contingent," mocked the Berliner Zeitung newspaper which like many papers noted the two men were now branded as being second choice.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

0 Comments To This Article