The Berlin Spectator
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Berlin: Majority is Discontent with State Government

A new poll conducted for the RBB and the German-language ‘Morgenpost’ daily reveals discontent among Berliners regarding their city state’s government. Only 30 percent are satisfied.

The ‘Abendschau’, a regional news broadcast by the RBB, the Berlin and Brandenburg division of the ARD radio and TV network, and the ‘Morgenpost’ daily, published the results of the latest political poll they had done, on Wednesday. The outcome is bitter.

Declining Support

Only 30 percent of all Berliners are satisfied with the government of their city state. It is being lead by the Social Democrats (SPD), with ‘The Left’ and The Greens as junior partners. There is no other federal state within Germany in which residents would be even less satisfied with their regional government.

In May, the support for the Berlin Senate was 31 percent, one percentage point more than today. Up north in Schleswig-Holstein, on the other hand, 68 percent of voters are content with what their provincial government does. In their capital of Kiel, the conservative CDU is leading an unconventional coalition with the Greens and the liberal FDP.

Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller’s popularity has seen better days too. A bit more than a third of Berliners, 36 percent, are satisfied with him while 48 percent are not. This makes Müller the least popular chief of government in any of Germany’s federal states. Among members of his own party, the SPD, 57 percent support him, three percent less than last time.

Green Governing Mayor

His colleagues are even less popular. Only 22 percent of Berliners like what their Commerce Senator Ramona Pop from the Greens does, and 27 percent approve Culture Senator Klaus Lederer’s work, according to the RBB’s and the ‘Morgenpost’s poll. Lederer is a member of ‘The Left’. Of course both Pop and Lederer are more popular within their own ranks.

The poll outcome also shows that Governing Mayor Müller’s three-way left-wing coalition would still have a majority. If Berliners had to vote today, 56 percent would vote for one of the three coalition parties. But the roles would change. The Greens, with 23 percent support, are now much stronger than the SPD with its 16 percent or ‘The Left’, which would get 17 percent.

What this means is that in a comparable coalition, the Governing Mayor would be a member of the Greens and that the SPD would be the smallest junior partner. Never before were the Social Democrats so weak in Berlin. Even though the CDU is weak as well, with a support of 18 percent, it is still stronger than the SPD.

Greens and Extremists Strong

For none of the parties mentioned so far, maybe with the exception of the Greens, the development is positive. The same applies to Berlin’s FDP. It would not necessarily make it into the Berlin House of Representatives with the 5 percent it would pull in an election, if the latter took place today.

Regarding far-right parties, Berliners are less enthusiastic than voters in Saxony, Brandenburg or Thuringia. But the support for the extremist far-right ‘AfD’ in Berlin is increasing anyway. Seventy-four years after the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany, the party mentioned is now at 14 percent.

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