Angela Merkel may be poised to enter her fourth term as German Chancellor, but the chances of her serving the full four years are becoming increasingly slim, according to her far-right challengers the AfD.
The incumbent leader and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party are expected to enjoy an easy slide to victory when Germany heads to the polls on September 24, gaining an almost 50 percent lead on her closest competitors. However, dissatisfaction with public policy and European Union frustrations will undermine her efforts to stay the course, founding member of the AfD, Frank-Christian Hansel, told CNBC.
The latest INSA poll released Tuesday shows the CDU and its sister Christian Social Union (CSU) party gaining 37 percent, a notable lead on the second- and third-largest parties, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), which are forecast 25 percent and 10 percent respectively. Still, the CDU will have to form a coalition to gain a parliamentary majority.
Christian Democratic Union + Christian Social Union – 37%
Social Democratic Party (SPD) – 25%
Free Democratic Party (FDP) – 9%
Green Party (Greens) – 7%
Die Linke (The Left) –9%
Alternative for Germany (AfD) – 10%
"The problems are getting so big with the migration crisis etc. that this next government will not be in power for the full four years," Hansel said over the phone, insisting that Merkel's efforts to appease all voters are unsustainable amid rising European pressures.
Merkel has attempted to broaden the appeal of the center-right CDU since taking to the helm of the party in 2005 but has struggled in recent years to strike an appropriate response to divisive issues such as the EU migrant crisis.
Since 2015, Germany has taken in more than a million migrants. The issue threatened to be the leader's undoing at the start of the year, when she suffered a huge drop in support following a number of terror attacks in 2016. In her re-election campaign she has sought to address this, telling crowds at a rally on Monday "of course we can't allow a year like 2015 to recur every year." But her pledges were met by AfD supporters chanting "Merkel out" and "immigration needs clear rules."
"The CDU will have to ask itself whether it is with the bourgeoisie or on the more liberal side. It can't be both," he argued.