Election thumping on the cards for Merkel coalition parties - polls

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) both face a drubbing in a regional election on Oct.

Reuters October 19, 2018 04:05:39 IST
Election thumping on the cards for Merkel coalition parties - polls

Election thumping on the cards for Merkel coalition parties  polls

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) both face a drubbing in a regional election on Oct. 28 that risks further weakening their crisis-plagued national government, polls showed on Thursday.

The drop in support for Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) comes after their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), suffered its worst performance since 1950 in a state vote on Sunday.

Poor back-to-back results for Merkel's conservative alliance would undermining her standing going into a CDU party conclave followed by the party's annual congress in early December. If she does not emerge well from those events, her opponents will be emboldened.

A regional poll by Forschungsgruppe Wahlen for broadcaster ZDF showed support for the CDU at 26 percent ahead of the Oct. 28 vote in the western state of Hesse, home to financial centre Frankfurt. The CDU won 38.3 percent at the last state election there in 2013.

A national poll by DeutschlandTrend had both the CDU and the SPD at their lowest levels since the survey launched in 1997, at 25 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

The regional poll suggested the Greens will be the big winner in Hesse, jumping into second place. However, support for the incumbent alliance of CDU and Greens was equal to that of the other parties, so they may need a third partner.

A so-called 'Jamaica' coalition of the CDU, Greens and FDP - whose colours match the Jamaican national flag - would be one option. Support for the FDP, and the far-left Linke, was at 8 percent each, the poll showed.

Negotiations on forming a Jamaica government at the national level collapsed this year, forcing Merkel's conservatives and the SPD to renew their governing coalition, a loveless alliance that had been plagued by infighting.

After the Bavaria election debacle, Merkel promised to restore trust in her government. SPD leader Andrea Nahles said "something has to change" in the ruling coalition.

Support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which hailed the Bavaria result as "an earthquake" that would rock the ruling coalition, was broadly steady in Hesse at 12 percent, the poll showed.

Forschungsgruppe Wahlen surveyed 1,035 voters in Hesse from Monday to Wednesday.

(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Angus MacSwan and John Stonestreet)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.