Could her coalition win after all?
When we first covered the German General Election just seven weeks ago everything seemed rosy for the former physicist turned politician, Angela Merkel. At the time her CDU/CSU grouping was scoring 44% in the opinion polls and she looked set to be the next Chancellor with a coalition deal with the FDP, then rating at 7%.
At the time Schroeder’s SPD was languishing on 26% and everything appeared to be fairly settled. It was not hard to predict that Angela Merkel would follow that other former scientist, Margaret Thatcher, to become the first woman to become political leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world.
Since then Merkel’s CDU/CSU/FDP grouping have seen their combined poll share drop three or four points while Schroeder’s SPD has edged up to 34%.
If the pollsters are right, and we are amazed at the extraordinary faith German political observers have in their accuracy, Angela Merkel will not have a clear victory and the talk is of a grand coalition.
This has been one of the most polled elections ever and there’s a comprehensive list of surveys on UK Polling Report showing the shift away the Merkel’s group. Unlike the huge variations in the polls ahead of the May 5th UK election there’s been little to choose between the different firms in Germany and there has hardly been any debate over their methodologies. If they are as accurate as the UK polls were in the run-up to May 5th then there could be a shock.
Many commentators are saying that move to Schroeder was boosted by the TV debate last weekend where those polled on who had won gave it to the current Chancellor by 2 to 1. Tax policy has not been as strong an element as Merkel supporters had been hoping.