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Germany's SPD vows "combative" election

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Germany's SPD vows "combative" election

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The Social Democrats in Germany are vowing to put up a strong fight for the job of Chancellor at elections in just over 100 days’ time.

The optimism comes at an SPD conference in Berlin, even though opinion polls and recent election results suggest victory will be a longshot. The SPD’s candidate for chancellor, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said: “Above all we are here to lay the foundations for a combative electoral campaign ahead of the national elections on September the 27th. And I’m going to commit myself to this 100 percent.” The SPD governs in a so-called grand coalition with the conservative CDU party led by Angela Merkel. The Social Democrats have taken hits at the ballot box recently, though, coming in way behind the CDU in municipal and European elections. Latest polls also indicate that Merkel is the preferred choice to lead the country during times of economic hardship. Steinmeier is the Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister in Merkel’s government.