Merkel gets party backing to fight Germany's election

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By Catherine Hardy  with REUTERS
Merkel gets party backing to fight Germany's election

Germany’s centre-right political parties have agreed to nominate Angela Merkel as their candidate to run for chancellor in the country’s election in September.

A long-running feud

The decision comes despite a long-running feud over how to tackle the migrant influx.

The Christian Social Union (CSU) has long criticised Merkel for allowing more than a million refugees into Germany over the last two years.

Horst Seehofer, leader of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU), sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has been a thorn in her side for much of the last two years, pressing for a cap on migrants that she will not support.

The CSU is the Bavarian sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

Discussing strategy

The CDU and CSU are meeting in Munich.

The aim is to discuss a strategy for defeating the resurgent Social Democratic Party (SPD) in September’s federal election.

Merkel and the CSU leader Horst Seehofer are due to present their joint election strategy.

The SPD surge

Observers have noted a spectacular revival in the Social Democrats’ fortunes.

It comes after they appointed former European Parliament president Martin Schulz as party leader a week ago.

They say this is forcing the conservative “Union” allies to bind together in an attempt to hold on to power.

What the polls say

An opinion poll published on Sunday suggests the conservative alliance’s lead over the centre-left SPD has shrunk to a multi-year low of four percent.

The SPD scored 29% in the poll published in the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

The paper says the six-point jump is the biggest ever recorded for the party.

Support for the CDU/CSU bloc fell four points to 33%.