Support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing Christian Democratic bloc rose to the highest level in four years as voters who switched to her Free Democratic coalition partner in 2009 returned, a poll showed.
Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party climbed three percentage points to 39 percent, the highest since July 2008 and since the incumbent coalition was formed in 2009, according to the weekly Forsa poll for Stern magazine and broadcaster RTL published today. Opposition Social Democrats, Greens and the Left Party each lost one percentage point.
Merkel, who other polls show is Germany’s most popular politician, is gaining as European leaders’ crisis-fighting efforts enter what the chancellor called a “decisive phase” in an ARD television interview on Aug. 26. She meets today with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who is struggling for popular support of his debt-reduction agenda that aims to lower government borrowing costs.
“Many voters who voted for the Free Democratic Party in 2009 are returning to the Christian Democratic bloc,” Manfred Guellner, Forsa’s managing director, said in a statement on the OTS newswire. Merkel also benefits as the Social Democrats and Greens, the two biggest opposition parties, squabble over who will challenge her in next year’s German election, he said.
While Merkel’s Free Democrat allies held steady at 5 percent, the Social Democrats declined to 26 percent, the Greens to 12 percent and the anti-capitalist Left to 7 percent, according to the poll. The FDP, which serves as Merkel’s junior coalition partner, is down from its 14.6 percent win in the 2009 election.
The data indicate that neither Merkel’s current coalition nor a possible Social Democrat-Green alliance would have enough support to form a government if elections were held now.
The survey of 2,506 voting-age Germans was conducted from Aug. 20-24 and has a margin of error of as much as 2.5 percentage points.
Merkel will brief Chinese leaders this week on European efforts to combat the crisis and will ask China to keep backing the euro, a government official told reporters in Berlin yesterday. During her Aug. 30-31 China trip, she will also discuss interest rates with Chinese leaders and raise the issue of market access, the official said.
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