Berlin: Half of German voters do not want to see chancellor Angela Merkel re-elected in 2013 and nearly one in two say she has mismanaged the euro zone crisis, a poll showed on Wednesday.
Asked whether they wanted the Christian Democrat Union (CDU) leader to win a third term in 2013, 50% of those who took part in the poll said “no”, the poll by Forsa for Stern magazine said.
The poll also found that Merkel’s centre-right coalition is nine points - 44 to 35 - behind the centre-left opposition Social Democrats (SPD) and their allies, the Greens.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, speaks with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, left, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Photo: AP
Only 39% of those surveyed said they wanted to see Merkel win another four years. She has been at the helm of Europe’s largest economy since 2005, first in a grand coalition with the SPD and in a centre-right alliance since 2009.
Half way through her four-year term, Merkel has been under fire for her hesitant leadership throughout the euro zone crisis and regional election setbacks for her CDU party this year have hurt her standing in the conservative party.
The Forsa poll showed 46% of Germans believe Merkel did not respond the right way to the crisis sparked by Greece’s runaway debt problems while 42% supported her decisions.
Almost 87% of voters in the poll, taken from 27-28 October and before Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou called for a referendum on a planned €130 billion ($178 billion) bailout package, do not believe the plan agreed by European Union (EU) leaders last week will be enough to resolve Europe’s debt crisis.
The Forsa poll also found that if an election were held on Sunday, Merkel’s conservatives (CDU/CSU) would win 32% of the vote, up one point from a week ago. Their coalition partners, the Free Democrats (FDP), were stuck at 3% - beneath the 5% threshold needed for seats in parliament. The opposition SPD also gained a point in the last week, rising to 28%. Their preferred partners, the Greens, were steady at 16%.
Forsa managing director Manfred Guellner said both the CDU/CSU and SPD benefited from last week’s deal on the rescue package for Greece.
“The agreement in Brussels helped remove a lot of uncertainty hanging in the air,” Guellner told Stern. “And voters are now getting the impression that the two big parties are getting their act together on the euro zone crisis.
The Pirate Party, which came out of nowhere to score a shock 8.9% in a Berlin regional election in September, slipped 1 point in the national survey this week to 9%.