Almost half of the German public want Chancellor Angela Merkel to step down as the country’s leader before the next election in 2021, according to a new poll.

The poll, which was conducted by polling firm YouGov on behalf of the DPA  news agency, claims that 47 per cent of those surveyed did not want to see Chancellor Merkel serve out the rest of the parliamentary term. Only 36 per cent of the respondents said they were in favour of Merkel remaining on until 2021, Kronen Zeitung reports.

The new polling data shows a rapid decrease in the popularity of the long-serving German chancellor. In the aftermath of September’s national election, a similar poll was taken and it showed that 44 per cent of Germans wanted Merkel to remain on until the next election.

Despite coming first in September’s race, Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have not been able to form a working coalition government.

Originally the CDU, along with its sister party the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), wanted to go into government with the Greens and the libertarian Free Democrats (FDP) but all talks halted after the FDP refused to move on the subject of migrant family reunifications.

Since then, Merkel and the CDU have voiced their support to opening talks with the left-wing Social Democrats (SPD) to create another so-called “grand coalition” and talks are set to begin on January 7th.

SPD Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has stated that a grand-coalition deal will depend on support for European Union (EU) reforms and reforms of the health service.

Should the talks fail, many have suggested that there could be a snap election in which the CDU, while expected to win, will likely not gain enough seats to easily form a coalition while the SPD could lose seats and see a record low in polls.

 

Since the height of the migrant crisis, Chancellor Merkel’s popularity has steadily declined. Before the migrant crisis erupted, Merkel enjoyed a popularity rating of 75 per cent.

The rise in migrant crime, as well as a number of terror attacks and terror plots involving asylum seekers, are also said to have contributed toward Merkel’s fall from grace. Recently, the mothers of one of the victims of the Berlin Christmas market terror attack declared: “Merkel has the blood of my son on her hands.”

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