Despite recent tensions within Merkel’s coalition that threatened to bring her government down, the chancellor still remains Germany’s most popular politician after 14 years at the helm.
Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel approval rating received a boost in January, a poll by ARD TV showed, as cited by Bloomberg.
Merkel’s approval climber to 53% – six points higher than the previous month – while the rating for her successor as head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and current Defence Minister, was only 23%.
Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected as the new CDU leader in December 2018 after Merkel stepped down, but still hasn’t appeared to gain much support among Germans, judging by the results of the ARD poll. ARD interviewed 1,506 people by phone from 7 to 8 January.
Merkel pledged to remain chancellor until 2021 despite leaving the party post, following the poor performance of her party in elections to regional parliaments. There were also speculations that Merkel would step down down as chancellor as well, following hints by Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer about revising the coalition agreement between the CDU/CSU and the Social Democrats.
The internal tensions between the CDU and the leader of its sister party the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) over Syrian refugees in Germany also contributed to the country’s political uncertainty throughout 2018, threatening to bring Merkel’s government down. Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, former leader of the CSU, openly opposed Merkel’s policy on Syrian refugees until an agreement between the coalition parties was reached. Many CDU members have also criticised Germany’s participation in the United Nation’s migration pact, which was designed to urge signatories to take voluntary measures to help improve the conditions in migrants’ countries of origin, as well as help destination countries to better assimilate migrants.