BERLIN – Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) saw their lead over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives narrow in a poll published on Tuesday, pointing to a tightening race just five days before a federal election.
The SPD, whose candidate for chancellor Olaf Scholz is currently vice chancellor and finance minister in Merkel’s grand coalition, remained stable at 25%, according to the Forsa poll for RTL/n-tv television.
Support for the conservative CDU/CSU alliance, whose chancellor candidate is Armin Laschet, edged up one percentage point to 22%.
The other parties were all unchanged with the Greens on 17%, the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) at 11%, the far-right AfD at 11% and the anti-capitalist Left party at 6%.
Forsa projected that the SPD would win 206 seats in the next Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, the CDU/CSU bloc 185, the Greens 140, the FDP and the AfD both 91 each and the Left 49.
This raises the possibility of four coalition options after Sunday’s election:
- the SPD with the Greens and FDP, also known as a traffic light coalition due to their party colours of red, green and yellow;
- the CDU/CSU bloc with the Greens and the FDP, described as a Jamaica coalition in reference to the country’s flag and the party colours of black, green and yellow;
- SPD with the Greens and the Left, dubbed R2G or red-green-red coalition;
- or an SPD-led grand coalition with the conservatives as junior partner.
All parties have ruled out working with the populist, far-right AfD.
Scholz and the Greens have also poured cold water on the idea of forming a coalition with the conservatives, saying that the CDU/CSU alliance needed to rebuild itself in opposition following 16 years of Merkel’s consensus-driven, centrist rule.