Merkel popularity hits record 81 percent: poll
BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
AFP PhotoJust over 80 percent of Germans approve of Angela Merkel's performance as chancellor, according to a poll Friday, which also showed nearly three-quarters judged 2012 to have been a good year.
The Politbarometer monthly survey revealed that a record 81 percent of those asked thought Merkel, who will seek a third term in elections next year, was doing her job at the helm of Europe's top economy "if anything, well".
Sixty-two percent thought the same for the work of the coalition government -- its highest approval rating since it took power in 2009 -- compared to 30 percent who said it was performing "if anything, badly".
Additionally some 40 percent of people said they would vote for Merkel's conservatives if elections were to be held Sunday, marking their best score in the poll since the last elections.
Thirty percent of those polled said they would vote for the main opposition Social Democrats, while 36 percent said they would prefer its candidate Peer Steinbrueck as chancellor, the poll for ZDF public television showed.
Merkel was the preferred head of government for 54 percent.
And 72 percent said 2012 had been "if anything, a good year" on a personal level and 27 percent expect an improvement next year.
Merkel has said she wants her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to continue governing with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) after elections next September.
However the FDP only scored four percent of voter backing in the poll which would preclude it from parliament by falling below the required five percent threshold.
The poll was conducted by phone among 1,280 people between December 11 and 13, just after both the CDU and SPD had held their political party conferences in the northern city of Hanover.