Angela Merkel dealt hammer blow as chosen successor lags behind in polls

Angela Merkel: German citizen slams COVID-19 rule 'chaos'

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Back in 2018, the German Chancellor announced she would stand down as leader of the CDU at the party convention. She said she would not seek a fifth term as Chancellor as Germany takes to the election polls this year.

In January, Armin Laschet was announced as the new leader of the CDU party after beating rival Friedrich Merz in a digital leadership election.

But the new CDU leader faced mounting scrutiny over statements he made in the past defending Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Assad regime in Syria.

Now, in the latest Civey poll – which asked 5,102 people from May 24-13 – asked: ‘Who would you vote for in a direct election for Chancellor?’ – 82 percent of Germans surveyed said they would vote for Green leader Annalena Baerbock.

In comparison, only 57 percent of people said they would vote for Ms Merkel’s successor – while 73 percent would vote for SPD candidate Olaf Scholz.

Despite the blow, Mr Laschet’s approval was around 11 percent in April and 22 percent of voters would vote for him in a direct election.

This is not the first time Ms Merkel has been warned about her successor.

Christian von Stetten, the chairman of the Mittelstand parliamentary group (PKM) of the Union faction previously warned many party members have toyed with the idea of leaving.

He said: “If Merz is not involved at the top, we are not talking about hundreds of exits, but thousands.”

Mr von Stetted added the new party leader must ensure business-friendly policies end up in the manifesto in the Bundestag election campaign.

He continued: “As members of parliament, it is difficult for us to advertise an election programme if we are not convinced of it.”

Last month, a poll – published by Pollytix Strategic Research – put the Greens in the lead for the first time since June 2019.

The poll found the party had an advantage over the other political powers in Germany.

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Pollsters Kantar gave the Greens a three-point lead, on 27 percent of the vote.

A total of 1,442 people were surveyed between April 22-28 as part of the study.

This would put Ms Baerbock, the party’s candidate to become chancellor, in a strong position to select from a variety of coalition partners to form the next government.

Ms Baerbock, the Green candidate, vowed to push through significant reforms when she launched her leadership campaign.

“Experience can act as a drag, tying you to the past.” Der Spiegel, Germany’s largest weekly news magazine, wrote of Ms Baerbock’s candidacy.

“New, visionary ideas often come from young minds.”

The 40-year-old, who has never held high office, proposed limiting the number of terms a German chancellor can serve – a direct attack on Ms Merkel’s near 16-year rule.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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