Gerhard SchrÃ¶ders electoral troubles only seem to increase. With Merkel’s lead seemingly consolidating rather than reducing, a recent poll now shows the alliance between the former communists in the east and Election Alternative in the west set to win 8% of the vote:
Experts say the new group could attract votes from Social Democrats in the west unhappy with Schroeder’s efforts to trim social programs, and from unemployed people in the economically depressed east fed up with his recent cuts in unemployment benefits.
A poll showed the alliance getting 8 percent ? well over the 5 percent barrier needed for representation in parliament. Schroeder’s party had 27 percent, trailing the conservative Christian Democrats of challenger Angela Merkel at 44 percent.
The poll, for ZDF television by the Mannheim Election Research Group, surveyed 1,175 people June 21-23. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.
The new group showed its appeal Tuesday when veteran Social Democratic legislator in the state of Baden-Wuerttemburg defected to take up its cause. Ulrich Mauer, the party’s former regional head, said he was joining the left alliance because it was “the only chance” to stop the advance of the center-right.