Armin Laschet, considered the successor of Angela Merkel and so far a favorite in the September elections in Germany, he began his campaign on Wednesday with polls showing an alarming drop its popularity, which increases the uncertainty ahead of the elections.
The conservative leader began his marathon of meetings at a youth boxing center in Frankfurt with his sights set on the September 26 legislative elections, after which the chancellor will leave power.
But, even if the candidate intended to send a message with that visit that he was willing to “fight”, the effect may be limited.
“Surprising poll!”, The newspaper Bild, the most widely read in Germany, headlined this Wednesday about a survey carried out by the Forsa institute for the RTL chain, which credits 23% of the votes to the conservatives. This they are 13 points less than those that were agreed to at the beginning of the year, despite the fact that only a few weeks ago he could count on about 30% of the votes.
Now to Laschet ecologists are on his heels (20% in voting intention) and even the SPD Social Democrats, who have managed to climb several positions in the polls despite having been in decline for a long time, reaching 19% under the leadership of Olaf Scholz, current minister Finance, you are successfully playing the “competition” card.
Armin Laschet is being punished for his management of the floods in Germany during July, as the conservative politician is also in charge of one of the two regions most affected by the disaster, North Rhine-Westphalia.
The authorities of that state have been in the spotlight for weeks, accused of not having warned in time to the population despite the warnings of the meteorological services.
During a recent visit to your region, Laschet was even attacked by some of the residents of the area, who complained about the slowness of public aid despite the fact that they had lost everything.
He was also not helped by the images in which he appeared in a cheerful attitude with the head of state, during a visit by the latter to his region to pay tribute to the dozens of flood victims. A gaffe that forced him to apologize publicly and for which he was widely criticized.
Laschet “is sunk in the mud in the electoral campaign “, considered the magazine Der Spiegel, alluding to the lands devastated by the floods.
In addition, it is still difficult for the candidate to generate unanimity on his own side, which elected him at the end of a highly contested primary against his Bavarian rival Markus Söder, much more popular in opinion polls.
And also … plagiarism
Lastly, Laschet also has been accused of plagiarism for a book you published not long ago. They blame him for having used, without citing them, contributions from a political scientist, a speech by a person in charge of the Jewish community and to Wikipedia articles.
Until now, it had been his environmental rival, Annalena Baerbock, who had been weakened by such accusations. These, added to other blunders and a failed start to the campaign, caused the Greens to fall in the polls, despite the fact that in the spring (boreal) they led in voting intentions.
Missing only six weeks for the legislative and the turn that the situation has taken makes the position of the candidate of the right is most uncertain.
Merkel’s conservatives, despite being in the lead, are plunged into a negative spiral and nothing guarantees you that they can keep the chancery.
Against this background, the Social Democrats they rub their hands.
“The fight is open,” an SPD leader, Lars Klingbeil, proclaimed on Wednesday. “Baerbock makes serious mistakes, Armin Laschet makes serious mistakes and people wonder who is serious enough to run the country. It is on this point that we want to convince “the electorate, he added.
Whatever happens, the formation of a government coalition after the elections is already presented as a real puzzle, with several possible combinations, in the absence of a game that is far ahead of the rest.