German Government Continues to Nosedive in Polls
After weeks of steady decline, popular support for all three parties in the government coalition combined is down to a dismal 38%. But what is even more remarkable is the rise of the opposition party Alternative for Germany (AfD), which is up to 19% in the latest “Deutschlandtrend” poll carried out for German television by the Dimap agency. That puts the AfD in second position after the Christian Democrats. And this, in spite of the non-stop campaign in the mainstream media, accusing the party of being under the influence of Russia, mouthing Moscow’s narratives, etc.
Otherwise, the SPD is down to 17%, the Greens to 15% and the FDP to 6%. The population feels abandoned by the government and left alone to deal with the burden of inflation, with the boomerang effects of the Russia sanctions on the German economy, and with a highly uncertain national energy supply in the future. On the other hand, the AfD has gained popularity because of its fierce opposition to the government’s Green energy policies, its call for a thorough investigation of the Nord Stream gas pipeline sabotage and to repair it, and for an end to sanctions on Russia. While 19% is the national average, the party’s ratings in the eastern states are close to 28-30%.
All other political parties have sworn to never cooperate with the AfD and to prevent any of its members from having an official position in the administration. But now, for the first time ever, it won an election to a leading regional political office on June 25, with Robert Sesselmann receiving 53% of the votes for a new county district administrator in Sonneberg (Thuringia) – despite the all-party coalition created to stop him with a mass mobilization of additional voters against him.
But the increased voter turnout did not prevent him from receiving a considerable share of votes from the same strata of the population – shop owners, craftsmen, car drivers, family home owners – that took to the streets in protest last Autumn, particularly in the eastern regions of Germany. The city and district of Sonneberg was one of the first to hold such a mass protest rally last September.
The rise of the AfD should be writing on the wall for the other parties to begin realigning with the population’s concerns. A step in that direction was taken by Michael Kretschmer, the Prime Minister of Saxony and the only leading Christian Democrat who has publicly and repeatedly criticized the Russia sanctions. In an interview with Welt TV June 26, he proposed that the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline be repaired as soon as possible, and demanded background information from the government about the attack. People in Germany, Kretschmer said, want to know what the Federal government knows about the fact that the CIA had warned of an attack.