(Bloomberg) -- A fifth of German voters would consider backing a new party that may be established by a far-left politician who has opposed weapons deliveries to Ukraine, according to a poll published Monday.
Sahra Wagenknecht of the Left party — which traces its roots to East Germany’s communist party — has said she will make a decision on whether to set up a breakaway group by the end of this year. The YouGov survey for news agency DPA showed that 6% of those polled would definitely consider voting for her new outfit, while another 14% would tend that way.
Wagenknecht’s move is potentially significant, since she could potentially woo voters away from the far-right Alternative for Germany, which is leading in the polls in the three eastern German regions due to hold elections next fall.
It could also mean that the Left, which has been riven by infighting, misses the 5% threshold to enter parliament at the next national election, due in two years. It’s already dropped to 4% in some polls, having lost its once—dominant position in eastern Germany to the anti-immigrant AfD.
Among AfD voters, 29% said they could contemplate backing Wagenknecht, compared with 55% of Left voters, according to the Sept. 15-20 YouGov poll of 2,134 people. At 29%, potential support for Wagenknecht is higher in eastern Germany than in the west, where it’s at 19%, the poll showed.
The 54-year-old lawmaker, who is married to Left co-founder and former German Finance Minister Oskar Lafontaine, has been a vocal critic of the ruling coalition’s backing for Ukraine, especially the decision to supply billions of euros worth of military hardware.
In February, she led a demonstration at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin attended by around 10,000 people, which called for an immediate end to weapons deliveries to the government in Kyiv and negotiations for a cease-fire.
In an interview with Der Tagesspiegel newspaper this month, Wagenknecht said that many German voters no longer feel represented by any party and vote AfD “out of desperation.”
“I think it would be good if these people had a serious address again,” the paper quoted her as saying. “Many people want necessary changes, but don’t want everything to be turned upside down,” she added. “They want to hold on to their values and their culture.”
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