Germany: Poll gives Berlin WASG 5%

Important headway made – poll indicates increased support

Within days of the anti-neoliberal Berlin WASG winning the right to stand in September’s city election (see June 1 report) came a striking sign of the potential support it has.

A local opinion poll published today has given the Berlin WASG 5%, an extremely significant result as this the threshold to get elected into the city’s parliament. This indicates that in an election between 60,000 and 80,000 voters would support the Berlin WASG.

While there is still a long way to go before the September 17 election this poll refutes the attacks which the national WASG leadership and the Leftparty (L.PDS) have repeatedly made on the Berlin WASG. The poll shows that the Berlin WASG can win support from wide layers deeply opposed to the neo liberal policies of the SPD-L.PDS coalition city government; it is not a small group of "sectarians" or "splitters" as its opponents maintain.

The poll also showed a continuing decline in support for the CDU, the party of Chancellor Merkel and an overall majority for the SPD and L.PDS. Clearly many Berliners will vote against the CDU and, on this basis, both the SPD and L.PDS will retain support as "lesser evils".

But this good showing for the Berlin WASG, up from 3% in previous polls, shows that there are potentially tens of thousands of Berliners who are willing to vote for a party that is committed to seriously fighting the neo liberal attacks. This poll also makes it even more scandalous that the national WASG leadership are refusing to support the Berlin WASG’s candidature and is instead backing the wage and social cutters who lead the Berlin L.PDS.

There are still over three months to the election, a lot still can happen. But this poll will inspire and motivate activists from Berlin and around Germany to help make September 17 a significant step in building a real opposition to the German ruling class’s continuing offensive to drive down living standards.


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June 2006