Germany’s Social Democrats have launched their manifesto for September’s general election in a bid to stop their slide in the polls.
To help boost morale Germany’s last Social Democrat Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder took to the stage in Dortmund to tell delegates not to give up hope.
The opposition party’s popularity surged after Martin Schulz was elected in January. It overtook Merkel’s conservatives in some surveys, but those gains have now evaporated and the party is struggling to regain momentum.
An Emnid poll on Sunday showed Merkel’s conservatives widening their lead to 15 points.
Schulz accused Angela Merkel of running scared because of her apparent refusal to take part in a debate: “ That’s a clear sign of arrogance of power,” he said.
Senior SPD figures hope Schulz can emulate the success Britain’s Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and defy the polls. Although he’s had a marked impact appealing to younger voters. With a sharp fall in the number of refugees, it’s thought many Germans have forgiven Merkel for her open-door migrant policy and continue to see her as a “safe pair of hands” when it comes to running the country.