And in fact, Schulz has had an impressive start which also has benefited his party.
According to recent surveys (Infratest dimap, Emnid) the SPD’s popularity rating
has jumped by 5 to 6pps (to 28% and 29% in the respective surveys) while the
CDU/CSU, the Greens and the AfD have lost. In one poll (INSA) the SPD even
comes in ahead of the CDU. According to the most recent ARD-Deutschland-
Trend (Infratest dimap) Mr. Schulz’ approval ratings even surpassed Chancellor
Given the SPD’s unexpectedly strong recovery, commentators (form FAZ
newspaper e.g.) have argued that Seehofer might have overplayed his power
game with Merkel to her and to both sister parties detriment. At the moment
this is speculative and time will tell with seven and a half months to go until the
While now the CSU’s grandees, too, have clearly expressed their support of a
fourth term for Chancellor Merkel, neither the representatives from the CDU nor
from the CSU have revealed preferences for a future coalition partner. Instead,
they have stressed their common goal to prevent a “left Republic” (CSU), i.e. A
coalition government of the SPD, the Left and the Greens.