German leaders are working around the clock to form a proper government after last September’s elections produced some of the most divisive results in the country’s modern history, and a new poll out this week by INSA shows that this political divide is only getting worse. The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, a recent addition to the political landscape at only 5-years-old, has continued to eat away at the competition’s popularity and is now fighting neck and neck with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) to become the second most popular party among the German voting public.
Since serving up a surprise third-place finish with 13% of the vote in the last election, the AfD proved itself to be a legitimate player in German politics and is seen as a major benefactor in the train wreck coalition talks still underway between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the SPD.
For the first time in the INSA polling, the AfD has reached a popularity level of 15%, putting it only two percentage points behind the SPD’s lowest results to date at only 17%. Merkel’s own CDU/SCU party has been struggling as well with a popularity rating of only 30.5%.
The rise may seem subtle, but to put it into perspective, if the German elections were held today, the current coalition talks between the CDU/CSU and SPD wouldn’t even be an option on the table. Last September, the two parties barely managed to scrape by with a combined vote of 53.5%, however, with this week’s numbers, their combined popularity sits at only 47.5%.