The outcome of Germany's election remains wide open, Merkel says

Photo: EPA

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that the outcome of Germany's election remains wide open, even as her party continues to struggle with falling ratings, dpa reported. "We are in the middle of the election campaign. I sense that there is also a real fight going on," Merkel said at a press conference on the sidelines of a meeting of the European People's Party (EPP) in Berlin.

"The reckoning will take place on election day," she said, two and a half weeks before Germans are due to elect a new chancellor, as Merkel steps down after 16 years in power.

Asked whether the legacy of her party, the Christian Democrats (CDU), would be tarnished if it were to cede power to a left-wing government, Merkel said she did not want to comment on speculation.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz meanwhile warned of the dangers if a left-wing alliance were to take power after the vote on 26 September.

A left-wing coalition would mean a different Germany and a different Europe, Kurz told the EPP, of which his party is also a member.

Kurz said how things went in Germany was a decisive factor for the EU, adding that an economic upswing and lower taxes were needed.

He said he was 100% convinced that the conservative bloc's chancellor candidate, Armin Laschet, was the right person to lead Germany in the coming years.

His comments came as a senior member of Germany's conservative alliance warned time was running out to reverse polls pointing to a historic defeat at this month's election.

"If there is still a chance to break the trend, it will be this weekend," the leader of its Bavarian branch, Markus Soeder, told dpa.

Soeder heads the Christian Social Union (CSU) - the sister party to Merkel's CDU - and state premier of Bavaria. He also missed out earlier this year on becoming the centre-right's candidate for chancellor in the September 26 elections.

A voter survey released this week by Berlin pollsters Forsa showed support for the CDU/CSU, which has dominated national German politics since World War II, having sunk to 19 per cent. This would be dramatically down on the 32.9 per cent it garnered at the 2017 election.

The Forsa poll confirmed the political momentum behind centre-left chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz with his Social Democrats (SPD) receiving 25 per cent support.  Scholz is finance minister in the Merkel-led coalition with the SPD.

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