A setback during the summer break: According to the current ZDF political barometer, German satisfaction with top political personnel has fallen noticeably. Or dissatisfaction grows. Depending on. The remarkable thing about the survey by the Wahlen research group is that it hits everyone, right across the parties. Everyone goes down the rating scale.
The green leadership duo – Robert Habeck and Annalena Baerbock have had the best ratings for a long time – loses together. The Federal Minister of Economics remains by far the best-rated politician in Germany. But with a rating of 1.6 (on the scale from minus five to plus five) for all respondents, it is 0.4 points worse than at the beginning of July. The foreign minister is also losing ground – she is down to 1.2 points after 1.6 and 1.9 in May.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz is rated worse, as is his SPD comrade Karl Lauterbach, the Minister of Health. The third Green in the top ten, Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir, comes off a little worse. Finance Minister Christian Lindner has now slipped into the red, as has CSU boss Markus Söder, where they are moving together with CDU chairman Friedrich Merz.
What’s going on there? Matthias Jung from the Wahlen research group explains it like this: “The wedding celebration of the Federal Minister of Finance on Sylt with a lot of political prominence added to the problems that troubled the respondents.” The reaction was:
“Those up there” had a good time in a crisis situation. “In this respect, the slippage of all top people in this survey is also shaped by this unique event,” Jung told the Tagesspiegel.
He doesn’t get much more differentiated then. “For the time being, one cannot derive the beginning of a trend from this,” adds the Mannheim pollster.
However, overall sentiment seems to have clouded over. That hits the federal government first. It is rated a little worse than in the previous months – with 0.4 after 1.0 points last time. The Greens (0.7) continue to rank ahead of the Social Democrats (0.5) and the FDP (minus 0.2). Instead of exactly two thirds of those surveyed two weeks ago, there are now only 57 percent who are satisfied with the work of the traffic light coalition.
Scholz as chancellor falls from 64 to 58 percent in terms of satisfaction. However, they are still good values. It remains to be seen whether they can be maintained if it becomes clear after the summer that the gas crisis will have noticeable consequences in the winter.
Inflation (which is currently mainly due to energy prices) is still only the third issue in citizens’ perception of the problem. Almost a third mentions the price increase when it comes to what people are primarily concerned about at the moment. The thematic complexes of environmental and climate protection as well as the Ukraine war are ahead, each with 40 percent.
The pandemic has receded into the background – only nine percent feel sufficiently distressed by the virus to name it as the most important or second most important issue (as the research group asked).
When asked directly about Corona, 40 percent see the virus as a danger to their own health, 50 percent are not worried for the time being. The population is divided when it comes to assessing the situation: under 40 years of age, the majority see it as less of a problem, and the younger, the less of a problem. On the other hand, the number of people over 40 who consider the situation to be problematic is growing.
As far as the party field is concerned, neither Sylt nor any other event in the past few weeks has had an effect. In the research group’s projection, practically nothing is moving: the Union is just ahead of the Greens with 25 percent at 26 percent, if there were actually an election next Sunday. It was followed by the SPD with 21 percent. The AfD comes to eleven, the FDP to six percent. The left remains at the bottom with five percent.
According to Jung, the fact that the Greens – as a party and with a view to the leading duo Habeck/Baerbock – are holding their own well is due to the fact that “in comparison with the parties, they are still the best at mastering their specific problem situation – keyword last: more electricity from coal .”