BERLIN (Reuters) - Nearly half of Germans surveyed in a new poll oppose Chancellor Angela Merkel remaining in office for a fourth term after an election next year - a sign that her handling of the migrant crisis is still weighing on her popularity.
Conducted by pollster Insa for German magazine Cicero, the survey showed on Wednesday that some 48 percent did not support the statement: “I’m in favor of Angela Merkel remaining chancellor also after the federal election in 2017.”
Around 27 percent said they wanted the conservative Christian Democratic leader to stay in office for a fourth term while roughly 25 percent said they did not have an opinion on the matter or did not give a reply.
Leaving out those undecided and indifferent, nearly two-thirds of respondents with a clear opinion were against Merkel staying in office, Cicero said.
“This shows that Germans are getting increasingly tired of Merkel with her being in power for 11 years now,” Cicero editor-in-chief Christoph Schwennicke told Reuters, adding that her handling of the migrant crisis was also an important factor.
“Her solo run in the refugee crisis last summer was a mistake, both on the national as well as the European level.”
Merkel decided to keep Germany’s borders open for hundreds of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The number of migrants entering Germany reached peaks of more than 10,000 a day last autumn, but has diminished significantly this year due to the closing of Greece’s border with Macedonia and a European Union deal with Turkey that has discouraged refugees from crossing the Aegean Sea to the EU.
Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Mark Heinrich