Germany may very well bask in their success for going several consecutive elections without the economy being among the top 5 greatest concerns of voters like the US before the 70s, however, gone are the days when Germany was a tolerant haven with ‘the environment’ and ‘animals’ among top concerns. The political platform has shifted dramatically.
While Britain was the only country in Europe in the preceding decade to have ‘immigration’ being the top concern and thus being paraded around as racist and xenophobic, it’s now quickly being joined by Germany.
Germans polled (2380 people in Aug) listed the following concerns as the most important facing the country and deciding their vote:
- Terrorism - 71 percent of voters
- Political extremism - 62 percent of voters (lost #1 this year after 2 years at the top correlating with AfD rise)
- Influx of foreigners into the country and the tension they cause - 61 percent of voters
- EU debt crisis being expensive to German taxpayers - 58 percent of voters
- Harmful substances in foodstuffs (GMOs) - 58 percent of voters
- Further influx of asylum seekers (Turkey threat to let them go) - 57 percent of voters
- Natural disasters (recent flooding in Germany) - 56 percent of voters
So with concerns of terrorism overriding concerns of political extremism, will Germans trust Merkel enough to keep them safe?
With migration (3 and 6) becoming ever more important of a concern to Germans, will Merkel’s promises of cutting it down assure the voters?
With more AfD and CDU voters worried about political extremism, has the ‘polarisation’ seen in America and Britain now reached Germany as centre-right and right-wing voters now see Die Linke and SPD increasingly extremist?
How do you think German concerns will affect the election, if at all?