Most people were expecting this flip-over within the SPD Party in Germany that occurred in the last hour or two. Gabriel....currently the Vice-Chancellor, will step over and become the Foreign Minister. And the EU outgoing head....a German SPD Party member....Martin Schulz....will arrive and become not only the Vice-Chancellor for Germany but the new candidate for Chancellor for the SPD Party.
With Gabriel, the SPD was hanging somewhere between 19-and-21 percent for national polling. Some speculation occurred last summer that this switch would occur, and general predictions are that SPD would go up to 20-to-23 percent on polling (not much more than that).
The problem that Schulz has in this public campaign period is that he's been a pro-immigration player for at least three years, and he has little to argue with Merkel upon. He is clever and able to be a top-debate guy.....but what exactly can you dump upon Merkel at this point? A retreat from immigration and asylum? It won't happen.
The problem with the four top parties at present, within the Bundestag (CDU, SPD, Linke Party and Greens) is that they all have angry and frustrated voters who want significant change to asylum, crime and integration. I would take a guess that roughly 20-percent of the general public want some fix....some solution.....some shift.
It doesn't mean that the AfD Party will be some plus on votes. Their general list of solutions or answers doesn't really reassure anyone of much. They simply talk anti-immigration, anti-refugee, and anti-asylum.....beyond that, it's most just political chit-chat.
The odds of another party coming out of thin air? Pretty much zero, I would think.
Last year, some poll came out which suggested that 60-percent of German society were in disbelief of the news media and their messages (didn't matter if they were print-media or TV-media). This says a lot about the direction of politics and why the public doesn't believe much of anything anymore.
If Merkel weren't running? This is one of those odd scenarios. If Merkel had said she'd retire....the CDU would be running with a fairly weak candidate, and Schulz would have a better chance of getting to the 30-percent point. With virtually no scandals, Merkel has a fairly easy chance to get to 30-percent or more.....perhaps even 36-percent.
All this fake talk and Russian involvement? It's hard to say that the general public really believes this. Maybe the journalists believe it to some degree (because of the Hillary loss) and maybe some of the Berlin leadership believes it. Working-class people? No.
So, settle back and be entertained.