Over the last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity has fallen to new lows after welcoming in more than a million refugees into the country, a move that a majority of the German public was against, but now Germany’s leader may have found her saving grace as election season is fast approaching, and it goes by a name we are now all familiar with: Brexit.
In the last week, two separate polls were released that show a very strong rise in approval numbers for Merkel. ARD found that 59 percent of the 1,500 participants were satisfied with Merkel’s leadership, a nine-point increase over last months survey and the highest approval rating since September.
A joint poll conducted by Die Welt and Stern magazine had a similar result with public support rising to 48 percent.
Public support wasn’t the only issue for Merkel over the last year though. Merkel’s own party has been distancing themselves from her and her recent leadership decisions, but since the Brexit vote those numbers are improving as well.
Estimates are showing that Merkel may now have the backing of around 75 percent of her own party.
Of course this recent surge in approval may be a temporary one once the ‘excitement’ of the Brexit wears off, but this is also Merkel’s moment to show her leadership abilities with Germany playing an even larger role in supporting the EU.
Anything can happen between now and the German national election in 2017, where Merkel is expected to run for a fourth term. Before Brexit, the cards were very heavily stacked against her, but if she can continue to keep her numbers up, that outlook may be a little brighter.