German election: Merkel's CDU/CSU lead over Shulz's SPD narrows

Angela Merkel Speaks

A new YouGov poll puts Merkel’s party’s lead at eleven points, the smallest YouGov poll gap since June.

An eleven-point lead seems like a lot – and in fairness it is – but one only has to look to the recent British election to see how a massive lead can collapse in the weeks leading up to a campaign.

The latest YouGov poll, conducted between the 25th and 29th August, puts Merkel’s centre-right CDU/CSU alliance on 36%, eleven points ahead of Martin Schulz’s centre-left SPD, who are on 25%. The poll also puts the “Left” on 10%, the Greens on 7%, the liberal FPD on 7%, and the far-right AfD on 10%.

The last YouGov poll to find a gap of 11% or smaller was conducted between the 19th and 22nd June, however, there have been three polls, conducted by separate companies that have put the gap at eleven points since then. The most recent eleven-point gap poll was conducted by INSA between the 10th and 12th July, making this new poll showing the smallest lead in over six weeks.

The previous two YouGov polls put the gap at twelve percentage points, and the one before that put it at fourteen percent.

Is the gap narrowing?

Looking at the YouGov polls, the trend suggests a slight narrowing in the gap, however, only time will tell whether that continues or if it is just a blip. With over three weeks to go until the election, campaign events could change the CDU/CSU’s fortunes for the worse, but with numbers like this, and a leader like Merkel, it’s difficult to imagine the party not emerging as the largest come the 24th September.

The question then is: who will govern with her?

A full list of German opinion polls can be accessed here.