Resurgence through a wave of protests? - AfD increases in polls

The party is betting that a "hot autumn" with loud protests against the federal government's energy and Russia policies could give it a further boost. Group leader Alice Weidel has already expressed understanding for such demonstrations in the Bundestag.

The calls across the republic AfD to new Monday demonstrations. So far, these have been sparsely visited, but both pollsters and party experts believe it is possible that the AfD could benefit from a wave of dissatisfaction with the traffic light government.

According to the figures published by the Forsa Institute on Wednesday, only a minority is satisfied with the work of the top politicians in the traffic light government. Above all, the controversial gas levy and the end of the three nuclear power plants at the end of the year are viewed critically by the majority.

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"If it turns out that people with little money or families in the lower middle class are not significantly relieved, then the breeding ground is there for the AfD to become a mouthpiece for protest again," says Julia Reuschenbach, political scientist at the Free University of Berlin .

In Saxony and Thuringia, the right-wing party is now in first place in the party spectrum, according to the polls. And in Lower Saxony it comes after an infratest dimap survey for the NDR with nine percent to a value that it had last reached there in 2018.

Great concern about "Hot Autumn"

And politicians are concerned about a “hot autumn” quite a lot. Chancellor Olaf Scholz sees the explosive force above all in the east and refers to bank statements that 40 percent of customers have no savings - so are badly affected by sharply rising energy bills.

And millions of households will only get the terrible news in the coming weeks about how much they will have to pay for heating in the future. As a precaution, Scholz warns that dissatisfaction with energy and Ukraine policies, for example, is not only to be found on the two extreme wings of the political spectrum, but also among supporters of the center parties.

That's why you have to take your fears seriously. The CDU/CSU parliamentary group debated the new threat from the right fringe for a full hour on Tuesday. The parliamentary secretary of the Union parliamentary group, Thorsten Frei, warned that a large new wave of refugees was building up from Berlin, largely unnoticed.

Despite the demarcation requirements such as the CDU compared to the AfD, the fronts among the voters now seem to be tearing up a bit. Insa boss Hermann Binkert refers to the so-called potential analysis, according to which more people than recently can imagine voting for the AfD. Above all, 75 percent of those surveyed said they would never vote for the AfD - "Now it's only 61 percent," says Binkert.

weakness the left and the FDP helps AfD

However, you have to classify the development, he says: "In Thuringia, the left in particular has fallen, but the AfD has not skyrocketed." FU expert Reuschenbach also points to the weakness the left as a reason why the right edge is currently getting a little more traffic.

"Because of the permanent self-employment and internal party quarrels, the left does not manage to develop a socio-political alternative to the government," she says. The pollsters also see a change of unsatisfied FDP-Voters for the AfD.

Forsa boss Manfred Güllner also refers to the gap between surveys and reality. The results of the district elections in Saxony, but also the mayor election in Cottbus, Brandenburg, have just shown "that the trees for the AfD do not even grow into the sky in the east".

In Cottbus, the AfD candidate came second, but was likely to do so in the runoff SPD-Competitors are clearly subject. And even in Saxony, where the AfD is the strongest party nationwide, it was not able to score points in the district elections.

The big unknown could again be non-voters in the next elections, as in Lower Saxony on October 9th. As in North Rhine-Westphalia, Forsa boss Güllner expects a larger abstention in the state elections. At the election booths, there is hardly any talk about state politics, says Green Party candidate Julia Hamburg.

"One consequence could be that voter turnout is low because many voters just don't see the point in holding state elections," she said. Whether this harms the AfD or the traffic light parties is an open question. However, Güllner points out that the AfD in particular has repeatedly been able to win over people from the non-voter camp.

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