A recent poll commissioned by Bild am Sonntag media outlet has revealed that a new German political party, conceived by influential Left Party MP Sahra Wagenknecht, is already gaining traction. Wagenknecht, a vocal critic of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet and its handling of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, announced her plans for the new party at a press conference on Monday. The party is expected to officially launch in early 2024.
The poll conducted by Bild am Sonntag featured two surveys – one including the yet-to-be-named political organization and another without it. The purpose of the survey was to determine which existing parties’ supporters were most likely to defect to the new party. According to the results, approximately 14% of Germans would already vote for the new party, placing it in fourth position. The Social Democratic Party, led by Scholz, is only one percentage point ahead, while the Green Party and the Free Democrats trail behind with 12% and 5% respectively.
Interestingly, the poll also revealed that the Alternative for Germany Party (AFD), a far-right party, would lose the highest number of voters if the new party entered the political landscape. Currently, 21% of Germans support the AFD; however, if given the option to vote for Wagenknecht’s party, 4% would switch sides. Moreover, the new party seems likely to attract voters who would otherwise support smaller parties not currently represented in the German parliament.
At the press conference, Wagenknecht expressed her hope that the new party would run candidates in regional elections in Saxony, Thuringia, and Brandenburg, as well as in the upcoming European Parliament election next year. She emphasized the urgent need for a new party, warning that if things continue as they are, Germany may become unrecognizable within a decade.
Wagenknecht outlined the party’s objectives, stating that it seeks to preserve Germany’s economic strengths while also working towards social justice. Regarding foreign policy, she emphasized the importance of diplomacy over weapon deliveries when dealing with conflicts. Wagenknecht has been a vocal critic of Scholz’s policies towards Russia and the EU’s sanctions on Moscow, which she believes are ineffective.
The emergence of Wagenknecht’s new party could potentially disrupt the German political landscape. With a substantial percentage of Germans already expressing support, and the potential to attract voters from various existing parties, including both the ruling coalition and the far-right, the party has the potential to reshape the political dynamics in Germany. As the official launch date approaches in early 2024, it will be interesting to see how Wagenknecht’s party evolves and whether it can establish itself as a significant player on the German political scene.