Berlin (Brussels Morning) According to opinion polls, German conservative voters would prefer Bavarian Premier Markus Söder as the successor to Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, when she steps down after federal elections in September, dpa reports.
Traditionally, most candidates for Chancellor, just like Merkel , come from the larger Christian Democratic Union (CDU), while its Bavarian sister-party, the Christian-Social Union (CSU), rarely fields a jointly backed candidate.
But the tradition could be forced to take a step back as most polls show CDU voters would prefer CSU leader Söder over Armin Laschet, Merkel’s successor as the leader of the CDU. According to a Forsa poll released on Thursday, up to 68% of CDU voters would back Schöder as the two parties’ joint candidate for new chancellor. Only 21% would prefer their own party leader Laschet, while 11% remain undecided.
The latest poll merely echoes a line of other recent polls showing former TV journalist Söder enjoying much wider support than the less charismatic Premier of North Rhine-Westphalia. Söder also enjoys more support from the wider electorate.
The CDU and CSU leaders are set to meet sometime between the end of Easter and late May to determine a joint candidate for the position of chancellor. With recent scandals shaking both parties, plus two record losses in regional elections, the two parties might find it to be in their interests to arrive at a decision sooner.
Greens closing the gap
The latest YouGov poll, published on Thursday, found that the CDU-CSU bloc would attract only 27% of German voters, six points less than in February, and also six points less than the duo won in the last federal election in 2017.
The two parties currently find themselves a mere three percentage points ahead of the fast-growing Greens, a party fast becoming the most likely kingmakers in September, since no other party appears to be in a position to form a government without their support.