Thu, Sep 24, 2009 - Page 6 News List

Merkel’s coalition holds thin lead in polls ahead of vote

AP , BERLIN

A poll published yesterday indicated that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s preferred center-right coalition has a razor-thin majority going into this weekend’s general elections.

Merkel is hoping to end her “grand coalition” with the center-left Social Democrats and instead form a new government with the pro-business Free Democrats after Sunday’s vote.

The Forsa agency’s poll, conducted from Sept. 15 to Monday, reinforced expectations of a close race, with 35 percent of respondents supporting Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its Bavaria-only sister, the Christian Social Union.

The survey showed support for the Free Democrats up one point at 13 percent, which would give the potential center-right alliance a total of 48 percent, compared with 47 percent for their rivals combined.

Support for the Social Democrats of Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was up 2 points to 26 percent.

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