Merkel’s conservatives hit record low in poll as German election nears

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Things aren’t looking good for Germany’s conservative alliance just five weeks before election day, as it plunged to record lows in a new poll. 

In a poll released early Sunday, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU) conservative alliance dropped three percentage points, putting it neck and neck with the Social Democrats (SPD) — both at 22 percent.

The INSA poll, conducted for the German publication Bild, is the lowest the alliance has ever fallen in the polling company’s analysis. It comes as Chancellor Angela Merkel joined fellow conservative Armin Laschet at a Berlin campaign event Saturday in an attempt to halt the alliance’s polling slide.

Laschet is hoping to replace Merkel as chancellor following the September 26 election, but his SPD opponent, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, has been gaining ground in recent weeks.

Merkel’s appearance Saturday was announced more than a week ago, following a survey putting the CDU/CSU alliance at 23 percent, down from 30 percent in less than a month. During her speech, Merkel called Laschet the “future federal chancellor.”

GERMANY NATIONAL PARLIAMENT ELECTION POLL OF POLLS

For more polling data from across Europe visit POLITICO Poll of Polls.

This weekend’s poll will send jitters through the conservative alliance, which has seen its candidate for chancellor Laschet struggle through the campaign, prompting questions over whether ​​his rival for the conservative candidacy, Bavarian Premier Markus Söder, would take his place. Söder has since ruled out replacing Laschet

Söder admitted on Saturday at the Berlin event, where he appeared alongside Merkel and Laschet, that it would be “very tight in the next few weeks.”

POLITICO’s Poll of Polls still places the CDU/CSU alliance ahead of the Social Democrats — but the lead is narrowing substantially, with SPD moving from 16 percent in late July to 20 percent at the most recent count. 

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