A new poll has revealed that 70% of Germans are dissatisfied with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his coalition government, amid growing discontent over the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis and the climate emergency.
The poll, conducted by the INSA institute for the Bild newspaper, showed that only 22% of Germans were satisfied with Scholz’s performance as chancellor, while 64% said they wanted a new government. The poll was published on Saturday, a day after another survey by the ZDF broadcaster found that 51% of Germans were unhappy with Scholz and 58% thought the coalition was doing a bad job.
Scholz, from the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), became chancellor in January 2024 after winning a narrow victory in the general elections in October 2023. He formed a three-way coalition with the Greens and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), dubbed the “traffic light” coalition due to the parties’ colors.
However, the coalition has been plagued by internal divisions and public criticism over its response to various challenges facing Germany and Europe. The coalition has struggled to contain the fourth wave of the coronavirus, which has led to more than 100,000 deaths and over 5 million infections in Germany. It has also faced backlash over its fiscal policy, which has been accused of being too austere and failing to stimulate growth and investment. Moreover, it has been under pressure to take more ambitious action on climate change, especially after the devastating floods that hit western Germany in July 2023.
Scholz’s popularity has also suffered from comparisons with his predecessor, Angela Merkel, who stepped down after 16 years in power and was widely respected for her leadership and stability. Scholz has been criticized for lacking charisma, vision and authority, and for being too dependent on his coalition partners. Some analysts have suggested that Scholz is facing a similar fate as Merkel’s first successor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who resigned as leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in February 2020 after a series of poor election results and scandals