German SPD takes lead over Merkel’s conservatives ahead of TV election debate

FILE PHOTO: Top candidates for the German Chancellery feature on election campaign billboards
FILE PHOTO: Top candidates for German chancellor feature on campaign billboards
FILE PHOTO: Election campaign billboards featuring the three top candidates for German chancellor (Analena Berbock of the Greens, Olaf Scholz of the SPD and Armin Laskett of the CDU) stand by the side of the road in Berlin, Germany September 10, 2021. Reuters/Michelle Tantucci

September 12, 2021

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) have taken a major lead on Armin Laszt’s conservative bloc, in a poll on Sunday in the primetime televised debate between the three main candidates to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor. shown before.

Two weeks before a national election, which has proved unexpectedly turbulent, the INSA poll for Bild am Sonntag put the centre-left SPD at 26%, their highest rating since a week earlier and June 2017.

Laschet’s conservative block was unchanged at 20% and the Greens were down 1 point at 15%.

Despite losing 8-9 percentage points over the past three months, Lechette told Deutschlandfunk (DLF) radio that the Conservatives have not given up, and insisted there is still time to win.

“A lot of people haven’t decided yet,” Lasquet said. “This is a decisive election and we are fighting for a majority on 26 September,” he said.

Conservatives are already missing the pulling power of Merkel, who is not running again after four election victories and 16 years leading Europe’s biggest economy.

This week’s edition of the influential Spiegel magazine features a front cover photo of Lechette holding her hands in front of her mouth with the headline “Ooops.”

The involuntary leader of Germany’s most populous state has made mistakes during the campaign, including being caught on camera laughing during a visit to a city hit by deadly floods in July. he apologized.

The TV debate, starting at 8.15 p.m. (1815 GMT) local time, will give LaSchet an opportunity to appeal directly to voters.

Lachette has started targeting the SPD’s chancellor candidate directly, saying that Olaf Scholz may align with the Greens and far-left Linke who will raise taxes and make foreign policy mistakes.

“This will harm Germany and its prosperity. We want to modernize Germany and also maintain stability,” Laschet said in a radio interview.

Scholz, who is unwilling to share power with Linke but has not ruled out working with him, won the first televised debate two weeks ago, according to polls and is by far the most popular of candidates for chancellor.

His rating has so far not been affected by last week’s raids on the finance and justice ministries as part of an investigation by the government’s anti-money-laundering agency, which Scholz oversees as finance minister.

Most experts agree that a three-way coalition is the most likely outcome of the election – a scenario that could take months to negotiate, during which Merkel remains chancellor.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Katherine Evans)

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