Poll shows low support for new CDU head as Merkel successor

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Only a minority of Germans back Armin Laschet as the conservative candidate to succeed Angela Merkel in elections later this year, according to new poll published on Sunday.

Laschet, North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) state’s premier, won a three-way race to chair the Christian Democrats (CDU) on Saturday, the party of exiting Chancellor Merkel.

Despite taking the reins of the CDU, only 12.1% of Germans think he should become the conservative candidate, according to a survey by pollster Civey.

The poll, which was carried out for the Munich-based Focus magazine, showed that 43% of Germans would prefer Markus Söder, Bavaria’s premier who also chairs the southern state’s Christian Social Union (CSU) party.

Söder himself has not yet declared whether he will run for Germany’s top office, but he and Merkel staged a widely photographed Bavarian boat outing last July. The trip was viewed by analysts as a nod to Söder as a potential successor.

Main Photo: New chairman of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) party, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet speaks during a CDU party virtual party congress in Berlin, Germany, 16 January 2021. EPA-EFE/CHRISTIAN MARQUARDT / POOL POOL

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