BERLIN (Reuters) - Public support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel has soared since Britain voted to leave the European Union, an opinion poll showed, helping reverse a fall in her popularity caused by the refugee crisis.
The survey, by pollster Infratest dimap for national broadcaster ARD, also showed a sharp rise in German support for the EU as for the first time a majority said there were more advantages than disadvantages to being in the bloc.
Some 59 percent of Germans said in the poll published late on Thursday that they were satisfied with Merkel, up from 50 percent in June.
A record 52 percent said that EU membership was advantageous, 13 percentage points higher than in a poll conducted before the British referendum on June 23.
Merkel is the third-most popular German politician after Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD) who enjoys 74 percent support and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble of her conservatives, at 64 percent.
Britain’s vote in favor of leaving the EU has raised fears about the feasibility of further European integration and the economic fallout of Brexit.
The poll found that support for Merkel’s conservatives had risen to 34 percent, from 31 percent last month. The conservatives, who govern in a coalition with the SPD, won 41.5 percent of the vote in the 2013 national election.
The government’s decision to allow in more than 1 million migrants last year, mainly asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, led to a sharp decline in the conservatives’ popularity and fueled the rise of an anti-immigration party.
Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Hugh Lawson