‘Germany needs new elections’ – Right-populist AfD party’s hits record high of 19% as immigration crisis grips country

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (right) and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Friedrich Merz (left) are trading blame about the reasons behind the rise of the Alternative for Germany, led in parliament by Alice Weidel (center).
By John Cody
8 Min Read

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) continues its steady march higher in the polls, now reaching an all-time high of 19 percent in the latest INSA poll conducted for the Bild newspaper.

The results have sent yet another “shockwave” through the political and media establishment, with politicians from both the left and the moderate Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) fiercely debating what is behind the rise of the AfD. The party is known for its strict anti-immigration stance, opposition to sanctions on Russia as well as German weapons being sent to Ukraine, and criticism of green energy policies being promoted by the left-liberal ruling government.

However, the term “shock” being used to describe the party’s rise in the polls is being rejected by the AfD’s Bundestag faction leader, Alice Weidel.

“Every three days, the Bild has to announce an ‘AfD survey shock.’ That’s not a shock, that’s called democracy. And it shows that people have finally had enough of paternalism, cost increases and asylum chaos. Germany needs new elections!” wrote Weidel.

Bild has routinely published headlines, along with other newspapers, documenting growing alarm in the German political establishment over what has been the steady rise of the AfD in the polls, especially in the east of Germany. Now, according to the latest INSA poll, nearly one out of five Germans would vote for the party that every major party has vowed never to form a coalition with. A poll from state broadcaster ARD showed, just a week before, that the AfD had reached 18 percent. The new raft of polls showing the AfD hitting new highs shows the party’s growth is no fluke.

The party is not only at 19 percent, but is actually tied for second place in the country with the ruling SPD. Weidel is now repeatedly calling for new elections, pointing to an ARD poll showing that only 20 percent of Germans are satisfied with the federal government, while 79 percent are dissatisfied.

 “The dwindling approval of the traffic light government shows very clearly that the Germans are no longer willing to accept that their interests are disregarded by politicians,” said Weidel.

Germany’s main political parties have now taken turns blaming each other for the continued rise of the AfD. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has labeled the AfD “the bad mood party” and says that when the situation improves in Germany, which he claims it will, AfD’s support will drop.

Weidel responded that when Scholz describes the AfD as “the bad mood party,” it shows the “complete unworldliness and aloofness” of the SPD leader. She said the AfD has sustainable concepts in the areas of energy, social affairs and migration. 

“The voters, who are not unsettled by clumsy defamation of the only opposition force, see that too,” she said.

Meanwhile, the secretary of the SPD parliamentary group, Katja Mast, said: “The AfD was, is and will not be a ‘normal’ party. They want to undermine our democracy and tolerate right-wing extremism. It fights our democracy where it can.” She added: “We must not be driven crazy by the AfD agitators and certainly not allow ourselves to be distracted. All democrats have one task — to take a firm stand against these democracy-destroyers and not adopt their methods.”

The CDU has offered what has been described as a “simplistic” message, claiming efforts to make the German language “gender-neutral” is driving support for the AfD.

“With every gendered newscast, a few hundred more votes go to the AfD. Geographical language and identitarian ideology are no longer just quietly rejected by a large majority of the population. They are perceived as intrusive,” wrote CDU leader Friedrich Merz.

However, the Welt newspaper, which is usually seen as pro-CDU, has rejected this assertion, writing that the country’s mass immigration problem is at the core of AfD’s growth.

“CDU leader Merz received widespread criticism for his Twitter statement on gender language as driving votes for the AfD. Welt author Thorsten Jungholt does not see gender as the main cause, but migration policy,” wrote the publication.

Merz has also reiterated that his party will continue to rule out all cooperation with the AfD.

The CDU, however, is the party responsible for the era of mass immigration under Chancellor Angela Merkel. This reality may provide the party with an incentive to avoid the issue as much as possible, especially when addressing the AfD party, which takes a far more hardline position on immigration than the CDU.

“A small tip for Merz, Lang, Scholz and company. It is not gender topics,” wrote one user. He then posted two links to articles involving knife crime.

Merz also appeared on ZDF and ARD and labeled the AfD as “xenophobic” and “anti-Semitic,” with AfD’s Weidel responding that it is “encouraging to see that constant attacks on the AfD” cannot shake the party’s support among the population “and the continuously growing trust in our political work.”

She added: “No political campaign by the old parties will keep us out of the political debate. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure a safe, prosperous and free Germany.”

As Remix News reported last week, there are a number of key issues that are likely contributing to the growth of the AfD, and immigration is one of them:

Germans are becoming increasingly receptive to the AfD’s positions on mass immigration as the left-wing government moves to liberalize immigration laws and naturalize millions of foreigners as German citizens, a move that would greatly benefit these left-wing parties at the polls. Germany has seen record population growth, with nearly 1.5 million migrants arriving in 2022. So far, this number shows no signs of slowing in 2023, as over 160,000 migrants arrived in the country in the first three months of the current year.

The costs of mass immigration are also slowly becoming hard to ignore, as schools become chaotic and understaffedhousing prices soar due to more competition, and serious crime involving foreigners continues to plague the country. The German government argues that mass immigration is necessary to save the country’s budget and pay for pensions, but figures show that the government plans to spend €36 billion in 2023 alone on migrants for housing, integration, and social benefits, undercutting this argument significantly.

Share This Article