Germany’s Greens oust Merkel’s Christian Democrats as most popular party
Angela Merkel’s successor as leader of Germany’s ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) party is under growing pressure after polls showed the Green party has forced it into second place in the polls.
Three polls published in three days this week showed the Greens pulling ahead of the CDU, making them Germany’s most popular party for the first time since they were founded.
The last poll, published on Saturday, put the Greens four points ahead of the CDU on 27 percent, marking a historical low for the traditional governing party of German politics.
Germany’s Greens have been enjoying a surge in popularity recently and overtook the Social Democrats, their main left-wing rivals, earlier this year.
The environmentalist party’s success has came as concern about climate change, biodiversity and plastic waste surged to the forefront of political debate over the last year.
But critics within the CDU have blamed Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who took over from Mrs Merkel as leader in December, for a string of tactical errors.
Particular criticism has been leveled at the party’s chaotic performance during the campaign for the European elections last month, when a Youtube video attacking the party’s record on climate change and income inequality went viral.
The CDU were accused of panicking after they shot their own video in response, only to axe it before publication.
Talk is already growing of whether Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer is the best person to lead the CDU into the next election.
The 56-year-old came out fighting on Sunday, warning that the Greens are too ideologically close to the radical left Die Linke party.
“People who dream of a new Green-led government need to know that they could wake up with Die Linke in power,” she told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer’s comments came after the Greens chose to enter coalition talks with Die Linke rather than the CDU in the state of Bremen, which also held elections in May.
“Bremen shows that, when in doubt, the Greens pick the left-wing over the politics of the middle ground,” she said.
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