16 Feb 2017
A strong majority of Germans do not think Angela Merkel should extend her 12 years in power and wish to see a new chancellor after this year’s federal elections.
The most recent poll by YouGov, published on Monday, showed that 64 per cent of German voters are in favour of having a new chancellor.
Just 19 per cent, meanwhile, said it was “probably best” for Mrs. Merkel to stay on. Only eight per cent thought she should definitely keep the job.
Most surprisingly, even a large proportion of supporters of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party — 42 per cent — said they wanted to see the back of their long-standing leader.
A series of polls over recent weeks have shown Merkel and her party losing support since the left-wing Social Democrats Party (SPD) selected Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament, as their candidate for chancellor.
Mr. Schulz was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for more that 20 years and sat as the institution’s president for five years.
During his time in the Parliament, he was known to be even more pro-European Union (EU) than Mrs. Merkel and made a name for himself as an arch-federalist and fierce opponent of Brexit.
He recently said populism is a “virus” that “could lead to the end of the European Union” and acknowledged there is now a “real risk” the 60-year-old supranational organisation could falter in the face of nationalist attacks.