Predicting German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s poll numbers is beginning to be an impossible feat. After hitting a five-year low just last month, her numbers saw an upward surge of nine points this month, taking her approval rating from 45 percent to 54 in the most recent Deutschlandtrend poll.
Before Merkel fans start celebrating, the poll also included numbers for other key politicians that may have a chance at going up against her should she choose to run for a fourth term in next year’s elections.
Social Democrat Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier gained the most in the poll with 75 percent of the participants being satisfied with his recent performance. Even Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s Finance minister ranked high with a favorability of 63 percent.
Many of Merkel’s opponents have gained attention in the media, making it appear as if the country is unanimously against her policies, but these same poll numbers paint a slightly different picture.
Horst Seehofer, who is the head of the Bavarian CSU, the sister party to Merkel’s own CDU, has been one of her most vocal critics. Seehofer has used his platform to pressure Merkel into changing the immigration laws, even threatening a legal case against her refugee welcome. The results of the most recent poll show that his case may not be as welcomed as he thought, as his numbers dropped to 37 percent from last month’s 44 percent.
The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party leader Frauke Petry suffered the largest blow this month with a three-point drop wth an approval rating of only 11 percent. It should be no surprise then that 84 percent of Germans feel that the extreme far-right violence, often carried out by supporters of the AfD, are posing a real danger to the country.
Does this mean all is well in Germany? The numbers are a mixed back and it only shows that the country is facing some deep hurdles in the coming months and years as the country deals with a clear divide that really can’t be fixed by one individual or policy. Many of these numbers can also be ruled irrelevant after next months polls. For now, Germans will need to strap in for the ups and downs of this continued rollercoaster ride.