- The anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) surged ahead of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in elections in her home state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.
- The election was widely seen as a referendum on Merkel’s open-door migration policy and her decision to allow more than one million migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East to enter Germany in 2015.
- Merkel rejected any course correction on migration policy: “I am very unsatisfied with the outcome of the election. Obviously it has something to do with the refugee question. I think the decisions that were made were correct.” She went on to blame German voters for failing to appreciate her government’s “problem-solving abilities”
- Many of the AfD’s positions were once held, but later abandoned, by the Merkel’s CDU.
- A September 1 poll showed Merkel’s popularity rating has plunged to 45%, a five-year low. More than half (51%) of those surveyed said it would “not be good” if Merkel ran for another term in 2017.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a major blow on September 4 when the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) surged ahead of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in elections in her home state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.