Merkel bloc’s advantage narrows in German election poll

Germany’s opposition Green party gained in a weekly election poll, narrowing the lead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc to 10 percentage points.

Support for the Greens rose 1 point to 18 percent in the Insa poll. That would be enough to construct a governing majority with the Social Democrats and the pro-business Free Democratic Party if the numbers were replicated in the Sept 26 national election, according to the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

The Social Democrats polled 17 percent and the FDP polled 12 percent, both unchanged. The nationalist Alternative for Germany party was unchanged at 11 percent and the anti-capitalist Left party declined 1 point to 7 percent

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Combined support for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and Bavaria’s CSU party, its ally at the national level, was unchanged at 28 percent. While the CDU-CSU is poised to win the most votes in September, it’s also likely to need at least one coalition partner to secure a governing majority in parliament.

The July 12-16 poll of 1,354 people was taken before a gaffe on Saturday by Armin Laschet, the CDU leader and his party’s candidate for chancellor, who was caught on camera laughing during solemn remarks by Germany’s president about the country’s deadly floods. Merkel isn’t running for a fifth term after 16 years in office.

READ MORE: Merkel's bloc widens German election poll lead as Greens slip

The Social Democrats polled 17 percent and the FDP polled 12 percent, both unchanged. The nationalist Alternative for Germany party was unchanged at 11 percent and the anti-capitalist Left party declined 1 point to 7 percent.