Thursday, October 7, 2010

Greens overtake SPD as strongest opposition

The Greens' claim to being Germany’s main opposition party was bolstered on Wednesday by a new poll putting them ahead of the centre-left Social Democrats for the first time ever.

The Forsa poll taken for news magazine Stern and broadcaster RTL put the environmentalist Greens’ support on 24 percent – one point ahead of the Social Democrats (SPD).

The result is a shot in the arm for the Greens’ claim to have become the strongest opposition to Angela Merkel’s ruling centre-right coalition.

The Greens appear to be benefiting from the SDP’s slide, having gained one of the two points lost by the SDP since last week’s poll. The SPD dropped from 25 percent a week ago to 23 percent this week, while the Greens gained a point from 23 per cent to 24 percent.

The turnaround represents a major shift in Germany’s political landscape, as the SPD has always been regarded – along with Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) – as one of the dominant Volksparteien or “people’s parties.”

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