Armin Laschet inches closer to succeeding Merkel

Photo: EPA Armin Laschet

Conservative chancellor candidate Armin Laschet's hopes of succeeding Angela Merkel at the helm of Germany after September's national election have been boosted by his party's widening lead in opinion polls, news wires reported.

A voter survey released on Wednesday by Forsa polster showed support for Laschet’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian-based Christian Social Union (CSU) allies holding at 30% for the last three weeks. CDU-CSU support stood at 28 per cent a month ago. But its support still falls short of the 32.9% of the national vote the conservatives garnered at the last election in 2017.

CDU-CSU support stood at 21% in an April Forsa survey with Greens holding a commanding lead in the poll of 28% following their nomination of its chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock. Support for the party has since tumbled, however. The September election will mark the beginning of the post-Merkel era, with the German leader exiting the political stage after 16 years in power.

But Laschet, who is premier of Germany’s most populous state North Rhine Westphalia, has struggled to gain political traction since his April nomination to head up the CDU-CSU's election campaign as its chancellor candidate. The 60-year-old secured the CDU-CSU chancellor nomination after a bruising battle for the job with CSU leader and Bavarian Premier Markus Soeder.

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