Angela Merkel’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, is polling at its lowest rate this year ahead of a Bavarian state election in October, according to a new survey.
Only 37.8 percent of eligible voters said they would back the conservative CSU, continuing a trend of decreasing support, according to a poll conducted by research institute Civey for Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung. The result is 0.3 percentage points lower than it was two weeks ago.
The CSU — which has dominated the wealthy southern state’s politics since the Second World War — looks likely to lose its absolute majority in the October election, meaning it will have to enter into an alliance with another party.
The Greens are currently the second largest political force in the state, according to the new poll, which puts support for the party at 15.1 percent. The far-right AfD is polling at 13.5 percent, with the Social Democrats at 11.8 percent.
Interior Minister and CSU leader Horst Seehofer earlier this summer put pressure on Merkel to implement tougher border policies for asylum seekers, in what was widely considered a move to boost its support in Bavaria and ward off a challenge from the far-right AfD.
But a poll published earlier this month suggested the strategy hasn’t paid off, with 34 percent of Bavarians saying they perceived the CSU and its regional Minister-President Markus Söder as a problem affecting their region, versus 28 percent saying the same about refugees.