Shift to the right in Germany? AfD as strong as SPD


If there were federal elections next Sunday, the right-wing AfD would get 18 percent. Why is that? Answers can be found in the current ARD Germany trend.

The AfD also mobilizes with demonstrations against the government, like here in October 2022 in Berlin

The citizens have never been so dissatisfied with the federal government and the three parties SPD, Greens and FDP, which they questions: Two-thirds doubt that Germany is in good hands with the current government. Only every fifth German currently gives the coalition a good reference.

This emerges from the current Germany trend, which the opinion research institute infratest-dimap has representatively surveyed on behalf of the ARD daily topics. Around 1,300 Germans entitled to vote were surveyed on May 30 and 31, 2023.

CDU/CSU ahead, but weaker

The right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) is the main beneficiary of dissatisfaction with the government. She can increase her approval ratings by a further two percentage points compared to May and would reach 18 percent if elected now. This puts it in second place with the SPD, behind the CDU/CSU, which would have 29 percent.

The Greens have had to give up further and have slipped to 15 percent – the worst Result since the federal election in September 2021. The FDP is unchanged at seven percent. According to this survey, the Left Party would no longer be represented in the Bundestag.

Why is the AfD still growing?

In the current survey, the pollsters paid particular attention to AfD sympathizers and asked them about their motives. The answers show that it is primarily a protest against the policy of the traffic light government that is driving the AfD voters.

The majority of AfD supporters state that they are currently opting for the AfD primarily because of distance and disappointment with the other parties (67 percent). Only a third (32 percent) justify their own preference for the party by saying that they are closer to the AfD and are convinced of it.

Rejection of refugees

Infratest-dimap has also asked about the issues that are most important when deciding to currently vote for the AfD. A critical attitude towards the immigration of foreigners is by far the most important, with two thirds mentioning this topic. The current debates on the environment, climate and energy issues are important for 47 percent, and economic issues for 43 percent.

Berlin's governing parties have been arguing for months about conversion plans for climate-friendly heating. According to the will of the Green Economics Minister Robert Habeck, from 2024 only heating systems that are operated with at least 65 percent renewable energy should be allowed to be installed.

The fact that the state wants to regulate the transition to more climate-friendly heating systems by banning gas and oil heating visibly polarizes the population. 45 percent of those surveyed find the ban fundamentally correct, 49 percent disagree. 67 percent are worried that the planned heating replacement measures could overwhelm them financially.

The heating dispute is damaging the traffic light

The discussions and arguments between the governing parties and the opposition have everything other than clarity and certainty. A majority feels ill-informed about how the transition is supposed to work.

Economics Minister Robert Habeck's loss of reputation has continued over the past four weeks. Only 23 percent are satisfied with their work, which is a further drop of seven percent.

Eight out of ten respondents believe that the traffic light parties are taking too long to solve pending problems. Just as many are missing clear directions within the government from Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), including a large majority of SPD party supporters.

Fighter planes for Ukraine?

Scholz has repeatedly been accused of hesitation since the issue of arms delivery to Ukraine. At the G7 meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, several western countries, including the USA, announced their intention to deliver American F16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

At the same time, Ukraine has also expressed the desire for German combat aircraft of the Eurofighter type. The attitude of German citizens to the delivery of German fighter jets, however, remains negative. Only 28 percent are of the opinion that Germany should deliver, 64 percent are against it.

Among Green Party supporters, approval and rejection of the delivery of Eurofighters are currently roughly balanced. In the ranks of the other parties, on the other hand, rejection prevails.

Arms deliveries, sanctions, diplomacy

Basically, the attitude of the Germans to supporting Ukraine with weapons is somewhat more reserved than it was three years ago months. Only a minority is of the opinion that the arms deliveries do not go far enough.

The verdict on Germany's diplomatic efforts is still critical. A good half (55 percent; +2) do not go far enough. The attitude towards sanctions policy has also hardly changed. For almost half of those surveyed (42 percent), the existing sanctions against Russia can be expanded.