Merkel wins Germany’s only televised debate: Polls

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Berlin, Sep 4 (IANS) German Chancellor Angela Merkel has won the single pre-election televised debate against her opponent Martin Schulz ahead of the national elections on September 24, a poll said.

According to the surveys conducted on Sunday by two of Germany’s public TV channels, 55 per cent of the respondents found Merkel more convincing while 35 per cent supported Schulz from the Social Democratic Party, Efe news quoted public broadcaster ARD as saying.

Most of the respondents of the first survey released at the end of the debate, agreed that although Schulz performed better than expected, Merkel still won in terms of her credibility, sympathy, arguments and competence.

On the other hand, viewers said Schulz’s arguments sounded more aggressive and closer to the people.

According to another survey carried out by the ZDF channel, Merkel won by 32 per cent against Schulz, who secured 29 per cent, while the other 39 per cent said they saw no differences between the two candidates.

In addition, 77 per cent of the survey respondents said that Merkel did well, as expected, while 55 per cent said Schulz’s performance was better than expected.

The latest pre-election polls, conducted only three weeks before the elections, place the conservative parties – the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)- led by Merkel and its partner in Bavaria, the Christian Social Union (CSU) – some 14 points ahead of Schulz’s party.

–IANS

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