German opposition closing in on Merkel party

May 22, 2012 11:52

BERLIN - Support for Germany's opposition Social Democrats (SPD) has jumped since their victory in a regional election, a poll showed, highlighting the increased domestic pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel as she battles the euro zone crisis.

The INSA survey, published by Bild newspaper on Tuesday, put the center-left SPD on 32 percent, up 3% in just one week. Merkel's ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) were just ahead on 33%, down one percentage point.

Also worryingly for Merkel, her Free Democrat coalition partners were at 4%, below the 5% threshold required to gain seats in parliament, while the SPD's favored coalition partner, the Greens, stood at 14%.

Earlier this month the CDU suffered a humiliating defeat at SPD hands in Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), where it saw its support tumble to 26% from 35% in 2010.

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