Following turmoil amongst the ranks of the SPD as well as dismal results in the recent regional European elections and securing just 16 percent of the vote at the European elections, an 11 point drop from previous results.
As one of Europe’s biggest centre-left parties, the SPD have alternated power with the conservatives for decades but taking on the role of junior partner under Merkel for two straight terms has seen them punished in the polls.
SPD chief Andrea Nahles resigned in June following the poor results despite key victories for party on migration and energy.
Calls have been made from members to ditch the coalition and look to the left, a shift which could quicken Merkel’s exit and trigger a snap general election, a minority government, or a fragile three-way coalition.
This comes as Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) hits a new low in public approval ratings, reflecting growing disillusionment in the ruling party.
Senior SPD figures have suggested a left alliance with the resurgent Greens, who are leading the governing conservatives in some polls, and The Left, a successor party to East Germany’s ruling communist party.
Deputy SPD leader Ralf Stegner told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that “of course” a leftist alliance was “the strategic alternative to one with the conservatives.”
Malu Dreyer, one of the three intermittent leaders of the SPD, also proposed the idea: “We need to boost our credibility. One option is of course a coalition of the SPD, Greens and Left,” she told Saturday’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
Their comments add some legitimacy to the bid from the left of the party for such a three-way alliance which has never materialised at the national level but has in two federal states.
The three parties are attempting to forge a left-coalition in the state of Breman, despite the Christian Democrats (CDU) winning most votes in May. Indicating that the CDU may not hope to keep power even by coming first in elections.
Merkel protege and CDU chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has defied her party by working alongside the Greens.
In a warning to centre-left voters she said: “Anyone who dreams of a new government and votes Green must know they could wake up with the Left party,” she told Bild am Sonntag. “Bremen shows: if in doubt, the Greens will always prefer the left to conservative policies.”
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