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Elections 2021: Whom do the Germans Want as Chancellor?

In Germany, the elections for the Berlin Bundestag are only 51 days away. According to a new poll, the voters know whom they want at the chancellery. But there is a problem: They cannot have him.

Berlin, August 6th, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — When you really want your favorite candidate to move into the chancellery and when the very same person has the best chances to win, things look good. But they do not when the candidate is actually not the candidate.

Laschet’s Terrible Numbers

Judging from the latest polls, Bavaria’s First Minister Markus Söder should have become the official candidate for Chancellor for the conservative “union parties” CDU and CSU. According to the “Trendbarometer”, a poll conducted for RTL and ntv, 38 percent of all voters would pick him, if they could elect the Chancellor directly, which they cannot. Only 13 percent would go for the actual candidate Armin Laschet.

This is about persons, and not about parties. But Laschet’s bad numbers will definitely not help the “union”. His competitors look better. Olaf Scholz of the center-left SPD would get 21 percent, if there were direct elections. Annalena Baerbock of the Greens stands at 15 percent, which is not exactly impressive, but she is still better than Armin Laschet. In his own state of North Rhine-Westphalia, only 16 percent would vote for him as Chancellor.

The Popular Bavarian

Within the “union parties”, there are rather big differences too. Among CDU supporters, 42 percent would vote for Laschet as Chancellor, if they could. So would 34 percent of those who say they are supporters of the CDU’s Bavarian version, the CSU. Söder is a lot more popular here too. In the CDU, 77 percent would go for him, if he was the candidate, and if the Chancellor was voted directly. In his own party, the CSU, 94 percent would pick him. These kinds of polling numbers usually appear in dictatorships. In a democracy like Germany, even the word “excellent” would be an understatement here.

For Laschet, it gets even worse: In the same poll, 24 percent of all voters who are planning to go for parties other than the CDU or CSU said they would vote for one of the “union parties” if Markus Söder was their candidate for Chancellor. What all of this says is that the German conservatives may have picked the wrong candidate. For the “Trendbarometer” poll, 1,503 voters were interviewed from August 2nd to 4th, 2021.

SPD in Third Place

The latest Kantar/Emnid poll results suggest that the conservatives might get 24 percent of the vote. Considering the “union parties” stood at 38 percent at some point last year, today’s numbers are nothing less than catastrophic. With 22 percent, the center-left Greens are only 2 percent behind the “union”. The SPD is in third place, with 18 percent, followed by the center-right FDP (13 percent), the extremist far-right AfD (11 percent) and the far-left ‘Die Linke’ (6 percent).

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