Germany: Polls show AfD as the top party in the east

According to a poll that was released on Sunday, the national populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) now enjoys more popular support in eastern Germany than Chancellor Angela Merkel’s so-called ‘conservatives’.

The new poll spells trouble for Germany’s previously dominant centrist parties as the country’s regional elections fast approach.

The poll, carried out by Emnid for Germany’s largest newspaper Bild am Sonntag, revealed that the AfD had the most support among respondents in the east with 23 percent support. In second place was Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) with 22 percent, followed by the far-left Die Linke in third with 14 percent, while the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) came in fifth at 11 percent.

The poll results come less than a month in front of Germany’s regional elections on the 1st of September in the eastern states of Brandenburg and Saxony, both of which have been previously dominated by the CDU and SPD. Both parties have been hemorrhaging votes to the AfD, Die Link, and the Greens in recent national and regional elections.

A defeat in the upcoming regional election would force the ruling coalition to rethink their strategy at the national level.

Merkel’s CDU/CSU still enjoys the most support among parties at the national level with 26 percent, the poll showed. In second place was the Greens with 23 percent, followed by the AfD in third with 14 percent. The SPD now has just 13 percent of the vote.