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Merkel slips from top spot as Left Party bigwig Sahra Wagenknecht becomes Germany’s most loved politician, poll reveals

Merkel slips from top spot as Left Party bigwig Sahra Wagenknecht becomes Germany’s most loved politician, poll reveals

Wagenknecht took over from Angela Merkel, beating her by three points in the latest survey carried out by the authoritative INSA pollster for Germany’s Focus magazine. The poll measured Germans’ preferences by asking which politician best represents their interests.

Merkel’s popularity started to shrink on the back of the heavy refugee crisis in 2015 when she proclaimed that Germany would take any asylum seeker that crossed the border. Her ‘open-door’ policy cost her many supporters, who opted not to vote for her ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) in national and local elections since then.

Wagenknecht, for her part, surged to popularity last year when she started a new political movement called Aufstehen (‘Stand Up’) which aims to be a voice for workers across Europe. Wagenknecht’s new left-wing movement champions the cause of limiting the number of migrants that come to Germany to work.

Adding insult to injury, Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who also leads CDU, has been ranked 18th. Often dubbed AKK, she stepped into the spotlight last year, when she was tapped as the right person to succeed the outgoing Merkel.

READ MORE: We have the ‘right to be proud’ of soldiers in both world wars - German AFD politician

But the chancellor’s 57-year-old protégé has made several embarrassing gaffes that badly damaged her popularity and raised accusations that she is not up to the top job. Also on her watch, the CDU suffered heavy losses during the European Parliament elections in May and didn’t perform well in regional elections this year.

In late October, the center-right party lost the regional vote in the state of Thuringia to the right-wing, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) which surged from nothing to take top positions, at least in the eastern regions.

However, two AfD leaders, Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland, occupied the very bottom of the INSA list. The pair stirred up an array of controversies before, including one by branding Merkel a “pig and puppet” or arguing that Germans could feel proud of its soldiers “in both World Wars.”

Also on rt.com ‘Leaked’ email alleges AfD co-chair called Merkel ‘pig & puppet,’ stirs pre-election scandal

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