Merkel coalition, combined opposition running neck-and-neck: poll

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 17, 2013 1:59 AM
Merkel coalition, combined opposition running neck-and-neck: poll

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right coalition and Germany's combined opposition are running neck and neck, a poll showed on Tuesday, five days before a national election that will decide who steers Europe's largest economy through the next four years.

The Forsa poll for Stern magazine showed Merkel's conservatives still well ahead of other parties on 39 percent, unchanged from the previous survey, and their current coalition partner, the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), were on 5 percent, down one point and only just enough to enter parliament.

The main opposition Social Democrats (SPD) and their Green allies were on 25 percent and 9 percent respectively, both unchanged from the previous Forsa poll, and the far-left Left had 10 percent. The SPD has ruled out a coalition with the Left.

If the figures are repeated in Sunday's election, Merkel will lack the support to renew her coalition with the FDP and Germany will most likely end up with a 'grand coalition' of conservatives and SPD, like the one Merkel led in 2005-2009.

(Reporting by Gareth Jones)