Conservative bloc of Merkel hits new high

Conservative bloc of Merkel hits new high

BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
Conservative bloc of Merkel hits new high

Recent polls show that German Chancellor Merkel (R) dominates in elections against her main challanger SPD’s Peer Steinbrueck. AP photo

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc hit a new high in a poll published yesterday as the main opposition party continued its free fall with only eight months until elections in Germany.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Bavarian sister party CSU won 43 percent in the poll, published by Forsa in Stern magazine, the highest level for the bloc since she became chancellor in 2005.

In contrast, the center-left opposition Social Democrats (SPD) slumped to 23 percent, the lowest level since July 2011 and equaling their showing in the 2009 federal election, which was seen as a disaster for the party.

The SPD has plummeted seven points in the polls since nominating Peer Steinbrueck, a former finance minister, to challenge Merkel in the election expected on Sept. 22.

The SPD’s likely coalition partner, the ecologist Greens, also dropped to 14 percent, meaning that the CDU/CSU on its own would comfortably outperform the center-left bloc.