Sunday newspaper, the Bild am Sonntag reported that even if the AfD gained only a few more votes at the federal level, it has become very popular in East Germany. According to the survey, the party is ahead of the Christian Democrats.
With 23 percent of the vote, the Alternative for Germany has overtaken Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU. Her party currently receives 22 percent of voting intentions, according to Emnid.
The CDU is ahead of the Left (18 percent), the SPD (14 percent) and the Greens (12 percent). The FDP would only just reach the parliamentary hurdle with 5 percent.
The result is particularly explosive against the background of the upcoming elections in East Germany. Thus, a new state legislature will soon be elected in the federal states of Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg.
Besides the EU vote scheduled for 26 May, Germans will be voting on the same day in several state and municipal elections, which include 10 key cities and regions. And in September, Germans will choose their candidates in state elections in Brandenburg and Saxony.
The results of the poll in the West of the Federal Republic are completely different. There, the CDU/CSU Union continue to be the strongest party with 29 percent of the vote. Meanwhile the second largest party is the Greens (20 percent), while the AfD manages only 11 percent at fourth place in the survey.
At the federal level, the support of AfD has increased by one percent to 13, and the Greens by 2 percent to 19. Even the SPD has done slightly better in the polls again. Over the last few weeks, they had almost exclusively lost percentage points.
The survey took place in the period from April 11 to April 17, 2019, and some 2 709 people were interviewed.
The AfD stands a good chance of winning the most seats in the states of Brandenburg and Saxony this autumn, which could hasten the end of Merkel’s reign. The party is likely to seize control of dozens of local municipalities in elections to be held next month.
The AfD has mobilised disgruntled voters whose earning power and average life expectancy still lag behind while state funding goes to migrants. In 2017, the party became the third largest political force in the Bundestag.
But AfD members have complained about the increasing number of attacks against their party, not only in the mainstream media, but in the streets.
AfD members have told Sputnik that left-wing violence against the party has been escalating. “Other parties are afraid that AfD will get too many votes”, says Berlin regional parliamentary deputy and AfD member Gunnar Lindemann. “So, they try to fight against our party and our ideas — of course, not in a good way.”
AfD member Richard Gretzinger told Sputnik that when their members are beaten up by “left-wingers”, they are afraid to protect themselves.
“They break our signs, they pour paint over us. We cannot respond physically, because they will sue us. But they can do whatever they want — kick us, hit us etc. We call the police, but they don’t stick around, they tend to leave rather quickly”.
The AfD remains optimistic the upcoming EU parliamentary and domestic elections, despite the threats. It has also unveiled a famous orientalist painting for its campaign.
On its Facebook page, posted a 19th century Orientalist painting by French artist Jean-Leon Gerome, showing Muslim men inspecting a naked woman with the comment: “Definitely an eye-catcher.”
An AfD ribbon on the painting is seen with a caption that reads: “So that Europe does not become ‘Eurabia’…Europeans vote for the AfD!”
The term alludes to a Marxist-Islamist conspiracy against Europe, which aims to gradually change the European character from a secular Christian based civilisation to a theocratic Islamic one by means of mass immigration and open borders.
Gerome’s painting, titled “The Slave Market” warns that history should not be repeated. “Our motto: Learn from Europe’s history,” reads one AfD poster in Berlin.