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Germany’s SPD moves ahead of Merkel’s party in poll

German Chancellor Merkel

Germany’s centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) have moved ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) in an opinion poll by the Emnid institute for the first time since 2006, Bild am Sonntag newspaper said.

The Emnid poll of 1,885 voters found the SPD would win 33 percent of the vote, up 1 point in the last week, while the Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) would win 32 percent, down 1 point.

The SPD has now gained a record-breaking 12 points in the last four weeks, according to Bild am Sonntag newspaper, since former European Parliament president Martin Schulz was named as its candidate to run against Merkel in the Sept. 24 election.

“The increase is unmatched in the history of the Bild am Sonntag polls,” the newspaper wrote.

The SPD, junior partner in Merkel’s ruling coalition, has trailed her conservative bloc for years in opinion polls until the nomination of Schulz sparked a revival in support for the party, which last won an election under Gerhard Schroeder in 2002.

On Friday, the Electoral Research Group published an opinion poll for ZDF television showing the SPD at 30 percent but still behind the CDU/CSU, which was on 34 percent.

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