Merz Leads Pack Of German Ruling Party's Candidates For Chancellor - Poll

Merz Leads Pack of German Ruling Party's Candidates for Chancellor - Poll

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th February, 2020) Friedrich Merz, the former faction chief of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives in parliament, is leading the race to replace her in the top government job, a recent poll has showed.

The 64-year-old lawyer has been described as a good candidate for chancellorship by 40 percent of those polled this week by Infratest dimap for German television channel ARD.

Merz is trailed by Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Markus Soeder, who is on 31 percent. North Rhine-Westphalia premier Armin Laschet has the support of 30 percent of respondents, while Health Minister Jens Spahn has 24 percent.

Merz was ousted by Merkel as faction leader in 2002 and ran for CDU leadership in 2018 but was outvoted by the chancellor's preferred successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who said this week she would not seek chancellorship and would stand down as party leader by summer.

Within the CDU, Merz is viewed as a potentially good chancellor by 69 percent of party members. Soeder is referred to as a viable choice by 53 percent, followed by Laschet with 43 percent and Spahn with 24 percent. The jobs of chancellor and leader of the top-ranking party go hand in hand in Germany.

The next general election is expected in 2021. If the vote happened this Sunday, the CDU and its Bavarian sister party would come first with 26 percent, down 1 percentage point from last week. Social Democrats have improved their standing by 2 points and are on 16 percent. The Green remain unchanged on 22 percent, the far-right AfD on 14 percent, the Left on 9 percent and the liberal FDP on 7 percent (-1 point).

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