I am pleased (mostly) to report the “impossible” has happened. Support for SPD has risen 10 percentage points in two weeks.
Hermann Binkert, head of the Insa polling agency, stated “I would have said it was impossible to improve your ratings by 10 percentage points in 14 days. But that’s what’s happened.”
The Financial Times reports “Phenomenal” Result Raises Prospect of Election Defeat for Chancellor.
The rise in support [for SPD], two weeks after Martin Schulz was picked as the SPD’s leader, increases the uncertainty in the run-up to the September Bundestag election and raises the possibility that Ms Merkel — once seemingly invulnerable — might even be defeated in her bid for a fourth term in office.
“This is phenomenal,” said Hermann Binkert, head of the Insa agency, which published its results on Monday. “I would have said it was impossible to improve your ratings by 10 percentage points in 14 days. But that’s what’s happened.”
According to Insa, support for the SPD has risen from 21 per cent two weeks ago, just before the former European Parliament president took over as party leader, to 31 per cent. The party has grabbed support from Ms Merkel’s Christian Democrat/Christian Socialist bloc, which is down from 32.5 per cent to 30 per cent, and from smaller parties, including the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD).
Mr Binkert suggested Mr Schulz’s rise was no flash in the pan and that voters had been showing their frustrations with Ms Merkel for two years. “It needed somebody to bring together those frustrations. Schulz has benefited,” he said. “He has made an emotional connection with the voters.”
More Impossibilities Coming Up?
The Financial Times added its own bit of silliness to the “impossibility” meme.
“Even coming first in September’s elections would not guarantee Mr Schulz power because the SPD would almost certainly lack an overall majority and have to seek coalition partners,” said Financial Times writer Stefan Wagstyl.
At least he did not say “impossible”. He left himself an out by merely stating “almost certainly”.
I beg to differ.
- Are we supposed to presume it’s a “near certainty” Schulz will not rise further?
- Is it a “near certainty” that Merkel can form a coalition even if CDU/CSU wins the most votes?
Merkel a Shoo-In?
I discussed the above questions on February 3 in Merkel an Election Shoo-In? Nope, Think Again.
At that time CU/CSU had a 6 point lead. Now they have a 1 point deficit! Yet, people proclaim a “near certainty” that Merkel will again govern.
- SPD could win outright.
- SPD might insist Merkel step down as the price to pay for another grand coalition.
- SPD might be first to form a governing coalition.
- Merkel might be allowed one more year before agreeing to step aside in another Grand Coalition
It’s preposterous in light of Brexit in the UK, Trump winning in the US, the rise of Marine le Pen in France, and the Rise of Schulz in Germany to speak of “near certainties” for Merkel.
Postcard From Germany
I appreciate well thought out comments from readers. Reader 5-8-6 from Germany replied to Merkel an Election Shoo-In? Nope, Think Again with these comments:
Dear Mish,I think it is positive that Martin Schulz is energizing the German elections, giving Merkel a run for her money. Still, he is an alternative only in name since he is advocating the same policies as Merkel: unswerving loyalty to the euro, “rescues” for Greece at al, out-of-control immigration, expanding the EU machine, extending social benefits to all and sundry, conflict with Russia, silly energy strategy, increasing taxes, you name it.I believe the CDU will still emerge as the strongest party with Merkel forming a coalition government. Even if Schulz were to win – what difference would it make? Zilch. Frankly, we need Italy or France to pull the plug. Germany won’t do it. We cannot rid ourselves of this weird mix of idealism and stupidity.Cheers,Alexander
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Mike “Mish” Shedlock