According to an INSA poll released this week, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party could win up to 10% of the vote in September’s general election – double what is needed to enter parliament.
If the polls are accurate, it would be the first time a populist nationalist party has made its way into the country’s parliament since the 1940’s.
Here are the poll results:
• Christian Democrats (CDU) 37%
• Social Democrats (SPD) 25%
• Alternative for Germany (AfD) 10%
• Free Democrats (FDP) 9%
• Die Linke (The Left Party) 9%
• Green Party 7%
According to these results, the AfD could soon become Germany’s third largest party.
Other polls show the AfD tied with the FDP at 8%, but the AfD only needs 5% to earn representation in Parliament.
It is unlikely what effect such representation will have on German policy. AfD policy positions include a plan to strip convicted immigrants of their German passports, declaring Islam incompatible with German culture, closing EU borders, and establishing holding camps outside the country to prevent refugees from entering Germany
Josef Janning, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, believes the AfD’s arrival in Parliament could prompt the CDU to shift its stance further right to suppress the AfD’s influence:
“AfD presence will contribute to moves among CDU and CSU to better cover their conservative wing. The CDU, which has moved to the center with Merkel effectively occupying ground formerly held by conservative SPD, will likely move to the right.”
Others see the AfD as an insignificant minority party outside any coalition. “The AfD will not be that influential and will remain very much on the fringe,” predicts David Lea, senior analyst for Western Europe at Control Risks. All other parties have already stated they would not build a coalition with the AfD were it to enter Parliament.
The Euroskeptic AfD party was founded just four years ago. It saw unexpected success last year following Merkel’s “open door” policy and the resulting wave of terrorist attacks and sexual assaults.
The AfD suffered setbacks after Merkel toughened her stance on immigration and after a few party members made comments that were viewed as racist and anti-Semitic.
The party’s co-leader Frauke Petry is currently facing potential perjury charges after he allegedly lied to election officials about the party’s finances.
In the meantime, AfD founding member Frank-Christian Hansel predicts that widespread public dissatisfaction will pull Merkel out of power. “The problems are getting so big with the migration crisis, etc. that this next government will not be in power for the full four years,” he said.
The AfD is currently represented in 13 of Germany’s 16 states.
Editor’s note: I’m not sure Germany realizes how close it is to anarchy, thanks to Merkel’s immigration policies that have flooded Germany with Islamist refugees. No matter the other policies of this party, the anti-immigration stance is needed.