Agence France-Presse

A majority of the German population believes that Chancellor Angela Merkel will not see out the current parliamentary term that ends in 2021, in spite of ongoing talks to breathe new life into the grand coalition that has ruled for the past four years.

According to the poll conducted by the Infratest institute and published by the business daily Handelsblatt, on Thursday, 56 per cent see Merkel departing early, should she be re-elected Chancellor by the Bundestag.

Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), along with their long-term allies, the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), are engaged in talks with the Social Democrats (SPD) to revive the coalition following the September elections, even though all three parties lost ground.

According to the report, 23 per cent of those polled in early January were critical of what they saw as indecisiveness on the part of the 63-year-old leader, who has been chancellor since 2005 and is currently serving in a caretaker capacity.

Merkel stands accused by many of those polled of sitting out problems rather than confronting them, but 20 per cent saw her calmness and composure as Merkel’s greatest asset.

Asked about possible successors to the CDU leader, 37 per cent put Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere in the lead, followed by Peter Altmaier, who heads the chancellor’s office, on 31 per cent.

The representative telephone poll of 1,012 eligible voters put Defence Minister, Ursula Leyen in third place on 28 per cent, and the Prime Minister of the western state of Saarland, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, in fourth on 24 per cent.

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