March 7, 2017 / 8:11 AM / in 9 months

Germany's Social Democrats lead Merkel's conservatives: INSA poll

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s center-left Social Democrat party (SPD) led Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in an opinion poll by the INSA institute published on Tuesday in the mass-selling newspaper Bild.

Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz speaks during a traditional Ash Wednesday meeting in Vilshofen, Germany, March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

The SPD, which has been reinvigorated by its candidate for chancellor, former European Parliament president Martin Schulz, was on 31.5 percent, half a percentage point lower than in the last INSA poll last month.

Schulz has made fighting inequality the focal point of his election platform.

Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavaria-based Christian Social Union (CSU) sister party were on 30.5 percent. The populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was in third place on 11 percent.

(This story has been refiled to add dropped word in third paragraph)

Reporting by Joseph Nasr; editing by John Stonestreet

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