Almost 50% of Germans want Merkel to step down says new poll

There are signs German voters have lost confidence in Chancellor Angela Merkel, who for so long looked unassailable as Germany’s leader. Folllowing the inconclusive election in September, since which Merkel has been unable to form a government, surveys show that largely because of an anti Merkel effect, her party and its natural coalition partners have continued haemorrhaging support to the Eurosceptic Free Democrats and the anti – immigration AfD. With a second election now looking inevitable the latest opinion survey shows nearly half of respondents would like to The Chancellor her step down. That figure is a significant increase on the numbers dissatisfied with her leadership just three months ago.

In spite of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) winning most seats in September’s Bundestag elections, even with the support of the party’s Bravarian twin, the CSU, Merkel’s efforts to put together a coalition capable of running the country have so far been unsuccessful. This factor seems to be the main reason Germans are turning their backs on Merkel: According to the results of a YouGov poll commissioned by DPA and published in Die Welt, 47 percent of respondents said they wanted her to step down before the next election is held in 2021, up from only 36 percent who would have welcomed her early departure three months ago.

A mere 36 percent said she should stay on to serve her full term – if she’s re-elected, something that can only happen if she wins the votes of over half of MPs. Since the CDU has lost its majority, the search for those votes has plunged German politics into it’s biggest crisis since World War Two.

Negotiations with the Green party and the Free Democrats collapsed in November which was hardly surprising as the FDP are centre right while the Greens are extreme left wing watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside, so the CDU is hoping an unlikely deal with the Social Democrats (SPD)to re-establish the grand coalition (and effectively turn Germany into a one party state (shades of 1933), will bear fruit. But the SPD originally ruled themselves out as coalition partners having blamed their poor election results in September on a voter backlash against the previous CDU, effectively enabling to rule without opposition. On top of this, the two parties wildly different positions on the EU. the joint European Army, Brexit and the middle east and other matters will make an agreement more unlikely than ever.

“It is not yet decided whether it makes sense to negotiate a coalition. One thing is clear: if the chancellery keeps rejecting all suggestions concerning EU reform, there will be no coalition with the SPD,” SPD Foreign Affairs spokesman Sigmar Gabriel told the Bild newspaper on Wednesday.

“It is also clear: if the CDU keeps insisting that people with public health insurance will be treated worse than those with private health insurance, again it makes little sense to talk about forming a coalition,” he added.

Merkel has led Germany since 2005, but her support has waned in recent years partly as a result of her handling of the migrant and refugee crisis, the biggest to face Europe since the Second World War. While on the campaign trail in September the Chancellor was booed by right-wing protesters who chanted “Merkel must go!”

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