Olaf Scholz, the SPD candidate for the new German chancellor in the upcoming Bundestag elections, won a televised debate with his main rival, CDU leader Amin Laschet, according to a poll conducted shortly after the debate.
According to recent polls, the SPD is ahead of the CDU / CSU, and the SPD candidate for the post of chancellor is more popular than Laschet.
In a poll conducted by ARD shortly after a 90-minute discussion, 41% of respondents considered Scholz the winner of the discussion – 27% indicated Laschet, and 25% indicated the Green candidate for Chancellor Annalena Baerbock.
Laschet accused Scholz of failing to fulfill his duties of overseeing his ministry, as evidenced by searches at the Ministry of Finance and Justice in connection with an investigation into possible obstruction of the money laundering process.
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“If my finance minister worked the way you do, we would have serious problems,” Laschet said.
Undeterred by the attack, Scholz accused the CDU leader of misrepresentation and “dishonesty,” saying the investigation did not concern his ministry. According to him, in fact, the investigators wanted to get to the Ministry of Finance.
Laschet also asked Scholz if he was ready to ally in the Bundestag with the extreme left, Linke’s party. Scholz did not want to rule out such cooperation, but admitted that there were so many disagreements between the SPD and Linke that cooperation between them would be very difficult.
According to an INSA poll conducted on Sunday, the SPD enjoys the support of 26% of voters, a percentage point higher than a week ago – the Social Democrats have not received such support since June 2017. The CDU / CSU can count on 20% of the vote, while the Greens have 15%.
Over the past three months, the CDU has lost 8-9% of its support points.
The elections to the Bundestag on September 26 will be the first since 2005 in which Angela Merkel will not be the CDU’s candidate for chancellor.