According to INSA’s poll 64 percent of Germans think that Chancellor Angela Merkel should not run for a fourth term. Usually people say that Merkel is losing popularity because of the refugee crisis. For sure it is very important factor but do you think that this losing of popularity also goes somehow deeper? Can Merkel simply count on solving/defusing of refugee crisis and then her numbers will go up or do you think it is a bit more complicated? Read few comments.
Kai Arzheimer, Professor of Political Science, University of Mainz
This poll was conducted by INSA. They are the only major pollster that relies on online panels, and there findings are often rather different from the other big companies, so I wouldn’t read too much into that figure.
According to the Politbarometer survey series (conducted on behalf of major broadcaster ZDF), a large segment of the population still approves of Merkel’s refugee policies, and her popularity has somewhat rebounded. The overall effect of the refugee situation on public opinion has been a (fairly unusual) polarisation: Merkel has lost support on the right but gained approval from the centre-left. Having said that, the wave of approval that nearly won her an outright majority in 2013 was a bit of an outlier anyway: Never before and never after have she and her party been as popular as they were then. What we see right now is not just the impact of the refugee situation but also some kind of normalisation.