Angela Merkel’s been part of the German political scene for so long she’s practically an institution; because of this it was just assumed her successor would be someone from her own party, the Christian Democrats.
For a long time it was the case, this and the fact there were no challengers from other parties.
But if a recent shock poll is any indicator there could be a major upset in the September 26 National Elections.
The Social Democrats are ahead of the Green Party for the first time in a year, a pointer that maybe this party’s fortunes are about to change; in their favor.
Putting things into perspective support for the Social Democrats has increased to 23 percent of the vote.
Olaf Scholz is the man of the moment; he’s the country’s finance minister and the SDP candidate for the Chancellery; who hails from the moderate to conservative wing of the party.
After the results of the poll were aired he tried to calm his jubilant supporters saying; it’s Election Day that counts.
The SDP is one of the junior partners that rule in coalition with Merkel’s Christian Democrats and their Bavarian ally the Christian Social Union.
It is the first time in 15 years the SPD has overtaken the Merkel Bloc in the polls.
The surge in support for the SDP has been the biggest story in the most volatile election campaign the country has seen to date.
In a rare display of party unity Scholz was welcomed by Kevin Kühnert, a former leader of the SDP party’s far left youth wing, which for years was a thorn in the side of the party’s centrist leadership.
The Economist magazine gives the SDP a 33 percent chance of taking first place in the election; which it bases on its own statistical model.
Two weeks ago that number was at just 1 percent.
In another poll conducted by INSA the SDP is running neck-and-neck with the Merkel bloc.
The last time the SDP led a German coalition government was in 1998; when they joined forces with the Green Party.