German Chancellor Angela Merkel has plummeted to record-low popularity ratings ahead of a regional election this weekend, amid growing speculation that she could be ousted within weeks. Angela Merkel could be toppled within weeks, after her CDU party sunk to record-low popularity levels. The poll rating came out ahead of a regional election this weekend in Hamburg. The all-time low poll performance suggests that the leadership crisis in Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrat Union is taking its toll on the party.
CNBC’s Annette Weisbach explained: “This is a record low popularity for the CDU and Angela Merkel. It could pose a severe problem for the party itself.
“Traditionally Hamburg is a stronghold of the SPD but falling to record lows is not positive for Merkel.
“The question is whether Merkel has to resign early to make room for someone new.
“But the SPD won’t stick to a grand coalition without Merkel on board.”
The crisis looks set to help her Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partners and the Greens in the Sunday vote, where the CDU had fallen to just 12 percent support.
Campaigning in Germany’s second-biggest city was suspended after a far-right shooting on Wednesday night that left 11 people dead in the western town of Hanau.
Experts believe that Mrs Merkel’s CDU may face a backlash from voters over the chaos that has engulfed the party.
Mrs Merkel’s planned successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer plunged the CDU into disarray by deciding to stand down two weeks ago.
This decision has sparked a leadership contest for the new CDU chairman.
An increasing number of German politicians believe that Mrs Merkel should step aside so that the next chairman “won’t constantly be in her shadow” according to CNBC.
However, there is no parliamentary majority for a replacement and many are concerned over instability.