Merkel Popularity Rises in Poll Showing Germans Want Stability

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s approval rating rose as the euro debt crisis eased, with a poll suggesting Germans would prefer her to lead the next government without her current Free Democratic Party coalition ally.

Merkel widened her lead as Germany’s most popular politician over second-place Hannelore Kraft, the Social Democratic state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia state, whose approval rating was unchanged compared with the last poll on Aug. 24, according the survey for ZDF television published today. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble remained third.

Voter support for Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc and the Free Democrats declined by one percentage point each to a combined 40 percent, with the FDP dropping to 4 percent, below the 5 percent threshold for winning seats in parliament. The Social Democrats rose 1 percentage point to 30 percent and the Greens gained 1 point to 13 percent.

With elections due in the fall of 2013, the largest number of respondents, 54 percent, would prefer a coalition of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, ZDF said in a statement citing FG Wahlen polling. Merkel headed such a so- called grand coalition in her first term from 2005 to 2009.

“At a time of crisis, Germans evidently would like a government with a broad political base,” the statement quoted Theo Koll, ZDF’s chief political analyst, as saying.

The Sept. 11-13 poll of 1,198 voting-age people has a margin of error of about three percentage points, ZDF said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Czuczka in Berlin at aczuczka@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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