Slim Merkel majority in election race: new poll

12th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

12 August 2005, BERLIN - German chancellor candidate Angela Merkel would win enough votes to rule with a slim majority if elections were held now, a new poll showed Friday.

12 August 2005

BERLIN - German chancellor candidate Angela Merkel would win enough votes to rule with a slim majority if elections were held now, a new poll showed Friday.

Merkel's Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU) and designated Free Democratic (FDP) partner would win 50 per cent, according to the respected ZDF TV Politbarometer poll.

The CDU/CSU is at 42 per cent and the FDP would win 8 per cent, the poll showed.

Several other polls over the past weeks indicated that Merkel had lost this majority in the race to Germany's September 18 general election.

The CDU/CSU has made several bad stumbles including comments by Bavarian Premier Edmund Stoiber who accused eastern Germans of being "frustrated" and said he didn't want their votes to decide the election.

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats are up one point to 29 per cent and his Greens ally would garner 9 per cent, said the ZDF poll.

Germany's newly created Left Party is at 9 per cent.

Recent polls put the Left Party - comprised of former East Germany's post-communists and the west German WASG movement - at up to 13 per cent.

This fuelled speculation that Merkel could fail to win a parliamentary majority and be forced to seek a grand coalition with Schroeder's SPD.

The ZDF poll showed 57 per cent of Germans think it is time for a political change after seven years under Schroeder's centre-left SPD- Greens government.

It also showed that voters think Merkel's CDU/CSU would do a better job in almost all areas of concern.

Unemployment of almost 12 per cent is one of Germany's biggest concerns and the poll indicated that 42 per cent trust the CDU/CSU to be better able to tackle this problem. Only 12 per cent trust the SPD on jobs.

But Schroeder leads Merkel in a personality contest with a 48 per cent approval rating, compared to 41 per cent for Merkel.

German voters, however, do not directly elect the candidates. They cast ballot for parties who then elect the new chancellor in parliament's lower house, the Bundestag.

The ZDF poll carried out August 9 to 11 surveyed 1,227 voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

DPA

Subject: German news

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