Germany’s Social Democrats are to elect a new chairman and their candidate for Chancellor later today. The SPD knows its star is in the ascendant and is keen to consolidate its popularity ahead of a general election next year. It has been in a love-less coalition with Angela Merkel’s CDU since 2005. Now the Social Democrats believe she is ripe for supplanting.
Franz Muentefering will become Chairman. Frank Walter Steinmeier, presently the German Foreign Minister, will be put in pole position to take on Chancellor Angela Merkel for the top job.
Since the last election the SPD has seen its popularity ratings slump to a post-war low of 20 per cent. But Steinmeier says the economic upheaval is causing “the greatest changes in German politics since the fall of the Berlin Wall”.