In what appears to be stunning news for Angela Merkel opinion polls in Germany suggest support for her Social Democrat rival in the autumn general election, Peer Steinbrück, has collapsed.
There has been no honeymoon period for the 66- year-old leader of the centre left since he won the SPD nomination in September. His support has gradually dwindled to 36% from 59% in early October, his campaign distinguished by misfires and gaffes from the very start.
That means the Chancellor is sitting pretty with a 29-point lead, easily Germany’s most popular politician right now, and significantly more so than her own Christian Democrat party, although it is polling just under 40% and holding down the top spot.
Her and her party’s next test is the regional election in Lower Saxony in nine day’s time.