If Angela Merkel becomes German chancellor again, nearly half of voters would want her to quit her term early, according to a poll offering a rare sign that domestic support for Europe’s most influential leader may be waning.
Merkel’s conservatives won a national election in September, setting her up for a fourth stint in office.
But they bled support to the far right, and talks on a three-way coalition with the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats collapsed in November.
Merkel is now pinning her hopes on cutting a deal with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), who finished second in the election but have so far given a lukewarm response to the idea of renewing the ‘grand coalition’ that governed Germany between 2013 and 2017.
The YouGov survey, commissioned by Germany’s DPA agency and published in Wednesday’s Die Welt newspaper, showed 47 percent of respondents wanted Merkel to step aside before 2021, when her fourth term would end – up from 36 percent in a poll taken at the beginning of October.