(Bloomberg) -- Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives narrowed the Social Democratic Party’s lead by 1 percentage point in a weekly poll, though they remain in second place a week before Germany’s federal election.
Support for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian affiliate, the Christian Social Union, increased to 21% and the SPD was unchanged at 26% in the Insa poll for Bild am Sonntag.
The pro-business Free Democrats fell 1 point to 12%. The Green party was unchanged at 15%, with the nationalist Alternative for Germany at 11% and the anti-capitalist Left party at 6%, close to the 5% cutoff for representation in the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house.
Merkel’s bloc has been hammered by her absence from the CDU-CSU ticket after 16 years in office and the relative popularity of Olaf Scholz, the Social Democrat who has been the finance minister in her coalition with the SPD since 2018. That’s made him the front-runner to succeed Merkel as chancellor after the election on Sept. 26.
Scholz, CDU-CSU candidate Armin Laschet and Green contender Annalena Baerbock are facing off in the last of three televised debates on Sunday evening.
In a late development, Scholz will then face questions at a parliamentary hearing on Monday about a raid on the Finance Ministry last week by prosecutors investigating how a ministry unit handled money-laundering warnings from banks.
The Sept. 13-17 poll of 1,502 people has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 points, according to Bild am Sonntag.
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