The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) would be the first force in the east of the country if general elections were held, according to a poll published by German newspaper Bild.
With a voting intention of 23 percent, the far-right party would be one point ahead of the Christian Democratic Union ( CDU ), the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel. In third position would be The Left ( Die Linke ), with 14 percent, one point ahead of the Greens with 13 percent. Finally, the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD ) would pick up only 11 percent.
This survey for the east of the country differs from the last Politbarometer (political barometer) of the public television ZDF for the whole of Germany, which put Merkel’s conservative block at 28 percent. The CDU would be followed by Greens, with 25 percent. In this poll the Social Democrats were predicted to get 13 percent of the vote, ahead of the AfD with 12 percent and Die Linke in fifth with 8 percent.
The Bild poll comes out less than a month before the start of the round of regional elections that will be held between September and October in three eastern state – Saxony, Brandenburg and Thuringia – where the AfD can expect strong results.
In the German federal elections of 2017, the party managed to enter the Bundestag with more than 13 percent of the votes and more than 90 seats, exceeding the forecasts of the polls.
The AfD was founded in 2013 and originally campaigned on the rejection of the euro and an end to the bailouts for other EU countries, especially those given to Greece, during the economic crisis.
Following the influx of refugees into Germany during the height of the Syrian civil war, the party moved sharply to the right and now primarily campaigns as anti-immigration party.