Germany’s SPD lead election race after final TV debate

Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) has entered the country’s election week as the frontrunner, after its Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz won a final TV debate between candidates from the three biggest parties.

Scholz, the incumbent Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor, was able to convince most potential voters of his merits during the debate on the private TV broadcasters ProSieben and Sat1 on Sunday, Xinhua news agency quoted a snap poll by Forsa released on Monday.

The SPD wants to provide tax relief to the middle class and those with very low incomes, Scholz said, so that “someone who earns as much as I do as a federal minister, for example, will then have to pay a little more tax”.

Forty-two per cent of those polled on Sunday said Scholz had won the 90-minute debate.

Meanwhile 27 per cent thought Armin Laschet, candidate of the conservative CDU/CSU union, had come out on top, while for 25 per cent it was the Green Party candidate Annalena Baerbock.

The latest polls suggest that the race between the SPD and CDU/CSU is getting closer.

According to a poll by INSA issued on Monday, the SPD currently is three percentage points ahead with 25 per cent, while CDU/CSU was polled at 22 per cent, up 1.5 percentage points on last week.

The federal election is scheduled to be held on September 26 to elect the members of the 20th Bundestag or Parliament.

On the same day, state elections in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will also take place.

Incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel will leave politics after 16 years in the post.