February 17, 2017 / 6:59 AM / 6 months ago

German Social Democrats gain ground in poll, Merkel's conservatives weaken

New Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz addresses a news conference at their party headquarters in Berlin, Germany, January 30, 2017.Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) gained ground in a poll published on Friday as they continued to benefit from their choice of Martin Schulz as candidate for a Sept. 24 federal election, while Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives shed support.

The poll, carried out by Forschungsgruppe Wahlen for broadcaster ZDF, showed the SPD gaining 6 percentage points to reach 30 percent support - its highest level in this legislative period in this particular poll - while Merkel's conservative bloc lost 2 points to 34 percent.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Kim Coghill

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