German poll sees boost in support for Merkel's coalition

BERLIN Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:22am EDT

German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes a speech during the official opening of the Hanover Messe, industrial trade fair, in Hanover April 7, 2013. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes a speech during the official opening of the Hanover Messe, industrial trade fair, in Hanover April 7, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Fabian Bimmer

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BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and their junior coalition partners have enough support to win a governing majority in September's election for the first time in more than three years, according to a poll published on Wednesday.

Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) have 41 percent support and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) six percent, giving them a total of 47 percent, the poll by Forsa showed.

That puts them well ahead of their center-left rivals and is the best combined result for Merkel's current coalition for more than three years, said Forsa, which carried out the survey for stern magazine and broadcaster RTL.

"A continuation of the coalition now seems possible though this long looked doubtful," said Forsa chief Manfred Guellner.

The survey gave the main opposition Social Democrats (SPD) 23 percent and their allies the Greens 14 percent. Both parties were down one percentage point from the previous stern-RTL poll. The hardline Left party was on 9 percent.

"If the SPD had a charismatic candidate for chancellor things would look more critical for Merkel," said Guellner, referring to the center-left party's Peer Steinbrueck, a former finance minister whose campaign has got off to a rocky start.

Both the CDU/CSU and the FDP were up one percentage point from the last Forsa survey. It was particularly good news for the FDP, which in many previous surveys failed to clear the five percent barrier needed to enter the Bundestag lower house.

Germany holds a parliamentary election on September 22.

(Reporting by Gareth Jones; Editing by Stephen Brown)

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