As Germany heads to election, voters list terrorism and mass migration among their top concerns


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:

  1. Terrorism - 71 percent of voters
  2. Political extremism - 62 percent of voters (lost #1 this year after 2 years at the top correlating with AfD rise)
  3. Influx of foreigners into the country and the tension they cause - 61 percent of voters
  4. EU debt crisis being expensive to German taxpayers - 58 percent of voters
  5. Harmful substances in foodstuffs (GMOs) - 58 percent of voters
  6. Further influx of asylum seekers (Turkey threat to let them go) - 57 percent of voters
  7. 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?


Among the lower end of the fears of the German public:

Unemployment rising - 17 percent of voters
Downward trend in the economy - 37 percent of voters (record low)

Just 9 percent of Germans rate the work of politicians as ‘very good’ or ‘good’. On the other hand, 30 percent rate them as ‘inadequate’ or ‘deficient’.

No real differences in fears between East and West Germany, except for one: the fears of a rise in cost of living is 48 percent in West Germany and 59 percent in East Germany.

There’s more infos in the PDF but my German dude is busy and Google Translate is annoying in the way it’s read while the German language is cancer to look at.


I get the feel that more people dislike immigration now, but generally still support Merkle’s government.


Merkel’s approval ratings are quite low at 47%. This may seem high in an Anglo-American context but she’s set a record low for any German chancellor several times, lowest at 43% a few years ago during the debt crisis. She was in the 70s through most of her term, dropping occasionally to 60s and hitting high 50s and low 80s during major events, then on a terminal decline since she invited fugees.

The problem for moderate right and right-wing German voters is that they have no alternative. The AfD is not only broadly batshit crazy but Merkel has no internal challenger within the CDU party. She’s been the leader of CDU for 17 years and the Chancellor for 12.

The CDU party has members of the Bundestag who were still at school when she first became Chancellor and the party has youth members who weren’t even born when she took control of the party. She is to CDU what Zedong was to Sinocommies. She’s just passed Thatcher in premiership longetivity this year. Like many in the UK have grown up thinking Thatcher is just some permanent leader, same is now in Germany.

There’s been an interesting poll I can’t find but I have seen before where the majority of right wing German voters were asked if they want ‘something new’ as an extra poll option to current leaders of major parties in ‘who do you want to be Chancellor’. ‘Something new’ won overwhelmingly.


If the establishment is so entrenched as we both agree, how could there even be an alternative?

It seems a safe bet to assume that Merkel will continue until she faces some even larger crisis or decides to quit. At that point some other crony will probably take them helm, whether it be SDP or CDU it doesn’t matter.


The key to an alternative seems to either be entryism into CDU by AfD voters or the CSU actually noticing they’re no longer a ‘sister’ to CDU and going their own way.

There’s a hope this year that Merkel is going to lose her seat as she’s pulled a Theresa May and gambled that she can take her seat which has a 50/50 chance of being lost to AfD, rather than parachuting to a safe CDU seat. So we may wake up a month from now with a retired Merkel, laughing at her choice and rejoicing at a broken establishment with no clear plan.

It’s the worst fear in German culture: a lack of order. There’s no one to replace her when she goes.

[spoiler]“entryism into CDU by AfD voters”

Like UKIP in the UK, the party is composed of political refugees from the left and the right. Disillusioned right-wing voters who feel the party has veered too far to the liberal left, and white working class voters from the left who feel their own red/labour/socdem party is no longer there for the hard-working native.

The Conservatives in the UK during the polling period managed to absorb white working class voters from UKIP, something completely unimaginable without the UKIP factor coming into play. They obviously lost them a bit, but nevertheless they had Red Kippers for quite a while and still retain a large element of them.

CDU would pull a huge success if someone from within could encourage entryism and get former SDP voters who are now in AfD to come and invade the party and lead them to victory.

Also, fuck spoilers.