Germany's Greens shoot into first place in poll, overtaking Merkel's conservatives

Germany's Greens shoot into first place in poll, overtaking Merkel's conservatives

EU summit following the EU elections in Brussels
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds a news conference after a European Union leaders summit following the EU elections, in Brussels, Belgium May 28, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

FRANKFURT: The Greens have overtaken Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives to become the most popular party in Germany, an opinion poll released on Saturday (Jun 1) showed, while her Socialist SPD coalition partners fell to an all-time low.

The poll, asking voters which party they would back in a national election, showed the Greens at 27 per cent support, one point ahead of Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU bloc.

It suggests a trend which saw the Greens surge past the SPD into second place in a European election a week ago has only intensified since.

The Greens were now nine points ahead of their result in a poll conducted a week before the European vote, while the CDU was down by two points.

The SPD, one of Europe's flagship centre-left parties, was down five points to 12 per cent, putting it just a single point ahead of the far right AfD. The pro-business FDP stood at 8 per cent.

The nationwide poll was conducted from May 27-31 by Forsa on behalf of German broadcasters RTL and ntv.

Merkel's conservatives won last week's European election with 28.9 per cent of the vote, down seven percentage points from five years ago. The Greens with 20.5 per cent beat the SPD into third place with just 15.8 per cent.

"The Christian Democrats and the SPD appear to have ignored a shift observed during regional elections in the states of Hesse and Bavaria, which showed that voters are moving from the liberal centre towards the Greens," Forsa executive Manfred Guellner told RTL.

Both major traditional parties have emphasised the importance of the environment in the aftermath of the European elections, but this only appears to have benefited the Greens, Guellner said.

Source: Reuters/nh