German Government Faces Massive Drop in Approval, Investigation Finds | News | DW

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German government faces massive loss of public support ahead of Easter, latest says Deutschlandtrend monthly survey.

Only 35% of Germans said they were satisfied with the federal government in April, with 64% expressing their disapproval of Berlin. This is a massive change from November last year, when around 70% expressed approval.

Spotting the mood change in 2021 isn’t particularly difficult

The survey showed that 58% of Germans were satisfied or very satisfied with the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel, making her the most popular politician in the survey. Bavarian Prime Minister and Christian Social Union (CSU) leader Markus Söder is the second most popular with 54% approval, with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas third with 43% satisfaction.

How do Germans perceive the federal and state response to the pandemic?

The survey showed that only 19% of Germans were happy with the federal and state response to the coronavirus pandemic in April, with 79% disapproving of the current approach. As late as December, public approval of the pandemic response hovered around 60%.

Graph showing the evolution of people's satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the cooperation between the German Federal Government and its states in the fight against the pandemic.

Cooperation between Berlin and the Länder has become a priority after some difficult meetings this year

The low approval comes as infections rise across the country, with the German government also struggling to implement an effective vaccine rollout. Merkel called on citizens to respect social distancing rules during the upcoming Easter holidays.

Merkel recently apologized for a botched five-day lockdown plan over the Easter break, rolling back extended last-minute restrictions plans for this Thursday and next Saturday. The turnaround resulted in calls for a vote of confidence in his government from the opposition parties.

How would the Germans vote if an election took place this weekend?

As the pandemic worsens, Germans are becoming increasingly bitter towards Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, with CDU seeing nearly 10 point drop in support since mid-December . According to the April poll, if federal elections were held on Sunday, only 27% of Germans said they would vote for the CDU, with 22% voting for the Greens and 16% saying they would choose the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

Infografik DT Sonntagsfrage April 2021 FR

CDU / CSU have lost 6 points in one month, and roughly double in the last six

In mid-December, the CDU was supported at 36%, the Greens at 20%. The SPD remained at 16% during this period.

How do the Germans see the possible successors of Merkel?

The survey also assessed how the Germans perceive Merkel’s most likely successors. CDU chief Armin Laschet and Söder are the best possible candidates for the CDU / CSU chancellery in the September federal elections.

Only 19% of Germans thought Laschet would be a good candidate for CDU / CSU chancellor in April, with 54% saying Söder would be a good candidate. Söder has consistently outperformed Laschet in the poll on who would make a better chancellor candidate.

Merkel recently criticized Laschet, who is also the prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia. Merkel claimed that Laschet and some other heads of state refused to implement stricter restrictions on coronaviruses, despite the increase in infections.

Laschet is seen as a centrist who more closely reflects Merkel’s consensual policies, while Söder has previously expressed more conservative views on issues such as migration. Söder has also taken a more draconian line in the pandemic than Laschet, who has often advocated for restrictions on the soft touch. Here, too, opinions seem to tilt in favor of Söder, with a majority currently in favor of a tighter lockdown.

The survey of 1,348 people was conducted from March 29 to 30, with Germans being interviewed both online and by phone.


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