“AfD party could lead opposition after election,” Leftist UK newspaper Guardian writes ahead of September 24 vote
Germany’s right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) is set to become the third largest party in this month’s parliamentary election, the latest polls suggest. The anti-mass immigration party is polling around 12 percent in most polls.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, still ahead of the competition, is widely tipped to form the next government. But her current junior coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), is tanking in polls with less than a week to go before the election.
The AfD campaign received an electoral boost when UK politician and chief architect of the Brexit campaign, Nigel Farage, appeared at an election event in Berlin earlier this month. He stopped short of endorsing the AfD, citing “different political affiliations,” but added that it would be a “historic achievement” if the party entered the Bundestag.
Ahead of the vote, the AfD is running a series of campaign commercials with the slogan: “Get your country back”. German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle covered the latest polls:
One week before the German election, the latest voter poll has put the far-right AfD barely ahead of the other “small parties.” (…) Alternative for Germany (AfD) maintained its slight lead over its “small party” competition, according to the latest poll reported by the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday.
The “Sonntagstrend” survey by the polling institute Emnid showed support for the AfD at 11 percent, with the Left party just behind at 10 percent, followed by the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) at 9 percent and the Green party at 8 percent.
Should the AfD’s double-digit polling numbers hold, the populist party would enter Germany’s national parliament for the first time after the September 24 election.
Another poll carried out by the Infratest dimap research institute last Thursday showed the AfD polling at 12 percent, but it should be noted that the margin of error can be up to plus or minus 3 percent.
Concerted efforts by the liberal political establishment and the media have failed to contain the party. The negative campaign whipped up by the media ahead of the September 24 election seems to have backfired. The UK-based left-leaning newspaper The Guardian noted earlier this week that “a series of scandals appear to have galvanised rather than weakened the chances of the far-right in next Sunday’s election.” The Guardian further wrote:
Should Merkel and her main challenger, Martin Schulz, agree to continue governing in a “grand coalition” between the two strongest parties, the AfD could lead the opposition in the Bundestag, a role that traditionally carries additional privileges, such as the presidency of the parliament’s budget committee.
Given the Brexit upset and President Trump’s surprise victory, one cannot entirely rule out a hidden AfD vote. According to a recent poll, more than a third of German voters are still undecided. If the AfD manages to rope in some of these undecided voters, pollsters and pundits could be in for a September Surprise in Europe’s most important election this year.
Watch: UK Politician Nigel Farage addresses AfD election rally in Berlin
[Cover image via YouTube]
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