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SPD Support Continues To Fall As Concern Over Energy Supplies Mount

GERMANY

Support for Chancellor Olaf Scholz's centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) continues to decline in recent opinion polling as voter concerns about German energy supplies and costs, as well as broader inflationary pressures, are laid at the door of the chancellor.

  • Support for the SPD has fallen to an average of 19.6% in July, with polling at the end of the month falling as low as 18%. This is down from 20.5% in June, 22.1% in May, and 25.0% in April.
  • The decline in support for the SPD has come at the time of a concurrent increase in backing for their junior coalition allies, the environmentalist Greens. Green support averaged 22.7% in July, from 22.2% in June, 20.3% in May, and a low of 16.1% in February.
  • The main opposition centre-right Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU-CSU) remains the largest party in terms of support, averaging 26.3% in July. The party has seen very little change in its support level through 2022, averaging between 25.2-27.0% from February onwards.
  • This would indicate the main churn in German politics taking place on the left. The Greens have received plaudits for the hardline stances taken by Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock towards Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
  • The SPD has also borne the brunt of opprobrium over rising inflationary pressures and concerns over energy prices and supplies in winter, despite the Greens having previously backed measures (such as the closure of Germany's nuclear plants) that has acted as a factor in pushing up prices amidst a reduction in gas supply from Russia.
Chart 1. General Election Opinion Polling, % and 6-Poll Moving Average

Source: GMS, INSA, Forsa, Infratest dimap, Wahlkreisprognose, Civey, FGW, Kantar, Ipsos, MNI

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Support for Chancellor Olaf Scholz's centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) continues to decline in recent opinion polling as voter concerns about German energy supplies and costs, as well as broader inflationary pressures, are laid at the door of the chancellor.

  • Support for the SPD has fallen to an average of 19.6% in July, with polling at the end of the month falling as low as 18%. This is down from 20.5% in June, 22.1% in May, and 25.0% in April.
  • The decline in support for the SPD has come at the time of a concurrent increase in backing for their junior coalition allies, the environmentalist Greens. Green support averaged 22.7% in July, from 22.2% in June, 20.3% in May, and a low of 16.1% in February.
  • The main opposition centre-right Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU-CSU) remains the largest party in terms of support, averaging 26.3% in July. The party has seen very little change in its support level through 2022, averaging between 25.2-27.0% from February onwards.
  • This would indicate the main churn in German politics taking place on the left. The Greens have received plaudits for the hardline stances taken by Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock towards Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
  • The SPD has also borne the brunt of opprobrium over rising inflationary pressures and concerns over energy prices and supplies in winter, despite the Greens having previously backed measures (such as the closure of Germany's nuclear plants) that has acted as a factor in pushing up prices amidst a reduction in gas supply from Russia.
Chart 1. General Election Opinion Polling, % and 6-Poll Moving Average

Source: GMS, INSA, Forsa, Infratest dimap, Wahlkreisprognose, Civey, FGW, Kantar, Ipsos, MNI