Prominent members of Germany’s major parties have expressed concern about a new poll showing support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) at a record high level.
This is reported by AP.
The DeutschlandTrend poll, conducted monthly by infratest dimap for public broadcaster ARD shows that voter support for the AfD is at 18%, equal to the support for the Social Democratic Party of Chancellor Olaf Scholz. In the 2021 elections, Scholz’s party received 25.7% of the votes, while the AfD – 10.3%.
“This (…) is a catastrophe that should be seen as a warning signal for all centrist parties,” said Norbert Röttgen, a senior deputy from the main opposition Christian Democratic Union, which received 29% support in the poll of 1,302 voters conducted on May 30-31.
Röttgen said his own center-right party should ask itself why it did not gain as much from voters’ dissatisfaction with the government.
His party colleague Serap Güler stated that strong support for AfD should alarm all democratic parties.
“We bear responsibility for changing this again quickly,” she said.
AfD and its branches have come under close scrutiny by the German domestic intelligence services, for their ties to extremists. Recently, the head of the agency warned of “astonishing parallels” between today and the 1920s-1930s, when there was a rise in political extremism and authoritarianism, culminating in a Nazi dictatorship.
About two-thirds of those who supported AfD in the survey said they did so in protest against other parties, not because they were convinced by the far-right politics. Nevertheless, AfD has a chance to win in the elections in three states in eastern Germany next year, which will put the main forces in an uncomfortable position when they have to form a broad coalition against the strongest party.
Sawsan Chebli, a member of the Social Democratic Party, wrote on Twitter after the publication of the polls:
“The AfD is at 18 percent. People, wake the hell up!”
Let us remind you, the “Alternative for Germany” criticized the position of the German federal government on assistance to Kyiv and advocated dialogue with Russia since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. However, in late June 2022, a split unexpectedly occurred within AfD, as West German delegates disagreed with the absence of the word “war” in the description of events in Ukraine.
Because of AfD’s position, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called it the “party of Russia”.