Chancellor candidate Scholz enjoys high poll numbers helped by opponents' drawbacks

Photo: EPA German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.

The front-runner in the race to be the next German chancellor isn't enjoying his lead because of his attributes, but more because voters see his opponents as significantly worse, new survey results show as dpa reported. According to the YouGov survey, 51% of candidates said Social Democrat (SPD) Olaf Scholz enjoys higher poll numbers than a month ago primarily because of the perceived weaknesses of Green Party candidate Annalena Baerbock and Armin Laschet, the centre-right choice.

Of the rest, 12% said Scholz's boost can be attributed to his personality while another 7% said the centre-left candidate's chances have been helped by "the messages that the SPD has been presenting in the campaign."

Another 6% say the identity of the SPD candidate plays little role in any success enjoyed by that party, while 24% listed other reasons without specifying.

Scholz's rise in the polls has come as a shock to Laschet's Christian Democrats (CDU), who had expected to be doing better. They also have won little traction by threatening that Scholz as chancellor would likely form a coalition with the hard-left Die Linke party.

Scholz has been quiet about possible coalition partners, only saying that support for NATO would be a must for any ally. Die Linke have routinely called for the defence alliance's dissolution.

The survey included responses from 2,017 people between 3 and 7 September.

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