German Greens led the polls but fell out of favor – .

German Greens led the polls but fell out of favor – .

The good old days: Members of the German Green Party, including co-leader Annalena Baerbock (C) and local candidate Katharina Fegebank (CL), react to the first exit polls which give the Greens 25.5% votes in the Hamburg municipal elections on February 23, 2020 in Hamburg, Germany.
Sean Gallup | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Germany’s Green Party saw a dramatic change in its poll scores earlier this year, from one of the country’s long-standing fringe parties to a strong candidate in the upcoming federal election in September.
At one point, the Greens were leading the polls ahead of the ruling conservative alliance led by outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel, which is made up of the Christian Democratic Union and its sister Bavarian party, the Christian Social Union. .

But since those heady April days following the appointment of co-leader Annalena Baerbock as chancellor candidate, things have turned badly for the party with much publicized fury around Baerbock. She was charged with plagiarism, failing to report certain additional income and inflating her resume.

For his part, Baerbock admitted to making mistakes but denied any wrongdoing. Her party, along with her opponents, also said she had been treated unfairly by the media and suffered sexist coverage, being the subject of false information online and being asked by journalists. how she would manage the maternity ward and the chancellery. were the Greens to win the election outright.

However, such a prospect seems to be crumbling now, with the Greens slipping in the polls and failing to get a boost in the wake of the devastating flooding in Germany, largely attributed to climate change.

Carsten Nickel, Global Head of Macro at ING, called the German election campaign a “roller coaster ride for all candidates and parties”.

“So far these ups and downs have been driven primarily by the popularity or unpopularity and missteps of the leading candidates and not so much by a real debate over content and topics. Baerbock and consequently the Greens were in free fall after the spring push. This fall is closely linked to a series of Baerbock mistakes and missteps. However, with more than a month to go, a lot can happen, ”he told CNBC on Tuesday.

Slide in the polls

The election is still on the line with polls pointing to increased support for the center-left Social Democratic Party, whose chancellor candidate is German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. This puts them in a position to face the Greens in the next coalition government.
An INSA poll for the newspaper Bild am Sonntag published on Sunday places support for Merkel’s CDU-CSU alliance at 27.5% and support for the Social Democrats at 18%, at the level of the Greens.

The pro-business party, the Free Democratic Party, followed with 13%, according to the poll, followed by the right-wing Alternative for Germany party with 12% of the vote.

“Opinion polls have moved a lot in recent weeks with support for the Green Party on a downtrend since its peak in May. The main beneficiary of this change has been the CDU / CSU, ”UBS analysts noted last week.

“There are many reasons for these changes in sentiment, but reopening the economy following the Covid-19 restrictions is likely to be a key factor in supporting the ruling party. However, the floods that hit the country in July, and a further rise in the Covid -19 cases saw this renewed support pick up a bit, pointing out that the outcome of this election could still be influenced by unforeseen events. “

Nonetheless, UBS considered that a Black-Green coalition (CDU-CSU, Green) remained the most likely outcome of the September 26 elections, with Armin Laschet being the next chancellor. UBS, however, has not ruled out the possibility of a so-called “Jamaican coalition” of the CDU-CSU, the Greens and the pro-business FDP, or a “traffic light” coalition of the Greens, the Greens and the FDP and SPD.

The next chancellor?

The prospect of Laschet becoming the next German Chancellor is not a given. The head of the CDU and prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia also found himself, like Baerbock, the subject of controversy after being filmed laughing during a visit to a flooded town in July.

A Twitter storm erupted under the hashtag #laschetlacht – “Laschetlaughs” – and a poll showed that a majority of those polled viewed his actions negatively. Laschet later apologized.

Greg Fuzesi, an economist at JPMorgan, said that Baerbock and Laschet both face “personal difficulties” that could impact their share of the vote, and that SPD candidate Scholz could be a candidate for the head of the ‘Germany.

“The personal problems encountered by Laschet and Baerbock have been important drivers of recent polls… The Greens’ shift is important because it potentially opens the door for Finance Minister Olaf Scholz at the head of a“ traffic lights ”coalition as chancellor, with the Greens and the FDP. This forces the SPD to surpass the Greens, which again seems possible, ”he noted.

While this might work for the Greens, the FDP would likely prefer a “Jamaican coalition” with the CDU-CSU and the Greens, Fuzesi noted.

“The reason is that the center-right parties (CDU / CSU and FDP) would have greater weight in this coalition, allowing the FDP to further advance its policies. This indicates complicated tactical considerations after the election, with parties potentially pursuing multiple coalition talks in parallel.


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