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Right-Wing AfD is Germany’s Second Strongest Party, Polls Show

Right-Wing AfD is Germany’s Second Strongest Party, Polls Show

The AfD surges in polls amid unregulated mass-immigration, rising inflation, and government’s unpopular climate policies.

After a string of stunning regional election victories, the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) is gaining support among German voters, emerging as the second strongest party in the opinion polls.

In recent surveys, the right-wing party is polling ahead of the Germany’s ruling Social Democrats (SPD) and was just a couple of points behind former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU-CSU).

For the first time since its formation in 2013, the AfD enjoys the support of more than a fifth of German voters. “According to polls, the AfD has continued to gain support among the voters. The INSA polling trend shows (…) that the party further gained half a percentage point and is now at 21 percent. These are the highest polling number [for the AfD] ever recorded by any of the major polling institutes,” the newspaper Sächsische Zeitung reported this week (translation by author).

The AfD surges in popularity amid uncontrolled immigration, rising inflation and government’s unpopular “climate-friendly” energy policies. The migrant influx and its fallout is only going to get worse when Germans vote for a new parliament in the autumn of 2025.

“Center-left Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s governing coalition with the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats, meanwhile, faces strong headwinds over high immigration, a plan to replace millions of home heating systems, and a reputation for infighting, while inflation remains high,” the Associated Press noted recently.

Germany’s state-owned Deutsche Welle TV reported Friday:

The latest infratest dimap opinion poll surveyed 1,305 eligible German voters between July 3 and 5 and found the AfD to have 20% voter support across the country. This makes them Germany’s second strongest political force, behind only the center-right alliance of the Christian Democrat Union and Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) who lost 1% support since June and now stand at 28%.

Meanwhile, the governing three-way coalition is still unable to claim a majority of support across the country: Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats (SPD) remain at 18%, the neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP) at 7%, and the environmentalist Greens drop by another percentage point to only 14% — their worst proportion in five years. (…)

Voters are less apprehensive of the AfD and its policies than they used to be: 69% of respondents still believe that there are too many right-wing extremists in the AfD — but six years ago, the figure was at 85%. And approval for the AfD’s restrictive stance on immigration is on the rise.

The arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees in 2015 and 2016, mostly fleeing the civil war in Syria, prompted the rise of the AfD on the coattails of a racist and xenophobic protest movement that began in the east of the country. In 2017, just over a third of voters across the country said they thought it was good that the AfD wanted to limit the influx of foreigners and refugees more than other parties. But now, this figure has risen to 42%.

Now, 55% say they appreciate the AfD’s clear stance on many issues and 53% say the AfD has a better understanding of people’s security needs than any of the other parties. Only the CDU/CSU score even better marks on security policy.

In the 2017 parliamentary elections, the newcomer AfD entered the parliament for the first time, winning 13 percent of the vote. In the 2021 elections, its support dropped a few points, getting a little over 10 percentage points. In the past ten years, the party has managed to build grassroots networks across the county, and its members sit in all of Germany’s 16 state legislative assemblies.

Mainstream media responds to AfD’s rise with insults

As the AfD gains political significance and surges in polls, German and international mainstream media has responded by heaping insults on the party. The German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau condemned the AfD as the “Party of Racism.” Weekly magazine Der Spiegel labeled it “through and through right-wing extremist” and speculated about banning the party (translations by author).

British newspaper The Telegraph lamented that the “Far-Right party” was gaining support despite its “divisive policies including wanting to stop gay marriage and legal immigration.”

The BBC claimed that the AfD was out of touch with ordinary Germans who wanted more migrants to come to their country. The broadcaster declared that the “AfD does not reflect mainstream society’s view that Germany needs migrant workers. But despite this, or maybe because of it, the party is reaching unprecedented numbers in the polls.”

In the past, left-wing news outlets like Vox have accused the “running Islamophobic” election campaigns.

[Disclaimer: Author is member of Germany’s Christian Democratic party.]


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Is AFD right-wing, or just not communist?

Germany swings like a pendulum do
Nazis on bicycles two by two

    Tiki in reply to Peabody. | July 9, 2023 at 5:59 pm

    But it doesn’t swing like a pendulum. It only moves leftward in a bizarre clipped sine wave function that defies common understanding.

    It’s like Germans are forever locked into a single mode of thinking; a creepy form of anti-capitalist marxist syndicalism all the while enjoying and benefitting from capitalism.

    I don’t pretend to truly understand any of it.

    David Walker in reply to Peabody. | July 10, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    For your information, Nazis were Left Wing.
    National Socialist German Workers’ Party = National-Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.
    It is one of the great propaganda triumphs of the Left that they have managed to transform the perception of into a Right wing party.
    And for what it’s worth, Benitio Mussolini’s favourite synonym for Fascism was Corporate Socialism – the alliance of big business with Hard Left Government, the worst of all possible worlds.

JackinSilverSpring | July 9, 2023 at 1:38 pm

Anything the Left doesn’t like is extreme right wing. Let’s see how this plays out. In particular, let’s see their economic policies. If their economic policies are like La Pen’s in France, they are following a National Socialist model. If they want free enterprise, then they’re more like Maga Republicans.

Even if the AfD got a majority of the vote the media will still say they are out of touch with mainstream society.

E Howard Hunt | July 9, 2023 at 4:32 pm

AFD- All Foreigners Deported

“… for the first time, winning 13 percent of the vote. In the 2021 elections, its support dropped a few points”

Weird behavior. Nothing has changed between then and now. Muslim men raping indigenous German women? Same as before. Rioting for the sake of chaos? Same as before. Refusal to integrate? Same. The response by the press? Same.

It’s like everything is preserved in a amber.

    CommoChief in reply to Tiki. | July 9, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    Perhaps a broader audience of victims being ‘mugged by reality’ is partly the answer?

      Tiki in reply to CommoChief. | July 9, 2023 at 8:39 pm

      The audience was always there in the gallery getting mugged. The rapine has been going on for more than a decade. That’s the simple fact of the matter. Ignoring the Beast doesn’t get rid of the Beast

      Do you think AFD will win and build a proper parliamentary coalition? Because that’s required to reform the system.

      I think not. I’ll happily eat my words if and when proven wrong, though I’ve the distinct notion that I’ll be going hungry.