There is a poll out there today (INSA) that suggests that nationally in Germany.....the SPD Party (left of center) is now at the number three position (17-percent) and AfD (the anti-immigration party) is at 17.5-percent.
It's one of those moments when you go back and reflect upon Germany five years ago, and wonder over the consequences of marginal German leadership from Berlin.
In 2013, the AfD Party was there as the anti-Euro party. Yes, that was their chief theme. In public forums, they could occasionally cite that two to four percent of the national audience had an interest in dumping the Euro and returning to the Deutsche Mark. They'd have some national meeting, and spend an entire Saturday hyped upon....the dumping of the Euro.
So along came the migration 'crisis'. The party leadership was pushed back and the membership said they wanted the chief topic of AfD to be anti-migration, anti-immigration, and anti-asylum. That was the new direction.
Chancellor Merkel and company had a laugh, and by spring of 2016, they came to worry about the growing support for the one-topic political party. In state elections, the AfD crowd was gaining votes and attention.
So you turn to face the SPD Party. What happened here? I generally list out three problems. First, Merkel has redeveloped the CDU Party into a CDU-SPD-creation....they just aren't conservative like they were twenty years ago. When people look at the SPD Party, the question is.....what makes it different and identifiable? This is hard to answer today. Second, no one really captivates people nationally with the SPD brand. Martin Schulz's effort in 2017? He was fairly pumped up, but his chatter was mostly about the EU, not Germany. Go look at the next ten people after Nahles (the chief of the party)....no one gets people pumped up. Third and final....both the Greens and Linke Party have matured and have a national audience (between twenty and twenty-five percent of the general public now). If you don't really like the SPD message....the two alternate parties offer you something for your vote.
Where this goes? One can only speculate. By the end of the year, I might go and suggestion the AfD near 19-percent, and the SPD Party having fallen to 15-percent. The state election in Bavaria will likely be a very negative story for the SPD for this fall. The Hessen state election in September likely gives them near twenty-percent, but it's just not going to change much of anything.