AfD falls below 20 percent in German polls

AfD falls below 20 percent in German polls

Germany’s far-right AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) party has fallen slightly in the polls after a surge in popularity during the autumn of 2023. The result follows a wave of anti-AfD protests across the country.

Germany’s populist AfD party loses minimal support in recent poll

According to a survey of 2.500 people conducted by Forsa between January 23 and 29, Germany’s right-wing AfD party is waning in popularity, with support falling below the 20 percent mark. 

The regular poll asks respondents who they would vote for if there were a Bundestag federal election next week. In the most recent survey, 19 percent still said that they would give their vote to the AfD.

Olaf Scholz’s SPD and the centre-right CDU / CSU parties each gained one percentage point in comparison to the last poll, respectively taking 15 and 32 percent of the hypothetical vote. If an election were held next week, the Greens would retain their 14 percent share of previous polls and the FDP, would bring in 3 percent.

While the AfD narrowly lost a district runoff in Thuringia just last week, the party is still expected to make gains in state elections in Thuringia and Brandenburg this September.

Federal Constitutional Court will amend the constitution to protect democracy

On January 31, German broadcaster RND announced that the coalition government and the CDU / CSU plan to make imminent changes to the country’s Basic Law (Grundgesetz) to make the Federal Constitutional Court more resistant to “enemies of democracy”.

According to the coalition and CDU / CSU, such changes would prevent the AfD from attacking the Federal Constitutional Court should they gain more power, as was the case in Poland, when the far-right PiS party nominated five new sets of judges to the country’s constitutional court who were sworn in immediately after it took power.

Could Germany ban the AfD?

As well as changes to the constitution, German society is in the middle of wider discussions about whether the AfD should be banned altogether.

Though support for the populist party has been growing steadily since its inception in 2013, a recent investigation by the German publication Correctiv revealed AfD plans to deport en masse German residents and people with German passports who have a migration background and are considered “insufficiently integrated”.

These plans were laid out in a meeting between, among others, AfD politicians, Neo-Nazis and members of the Werteunion, a movement within the CDU. Taking place in the Wansee neighbourhood of southwestern Berlin, the German media has widely compared the meeting to the Wansee conference of 1942, during which members of the Nazi government decided to implement the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”. 

While Scholz’s coalition has displayed strident opposition to the exposed “remigration” plan, his critics have drawn parallels with the Chancellor's recent declaration that the German government must deport rejected asylum seekers “in a big way”. 

The findings of this Correctiv investigation have sparked widespread protests against the AfD across all of Germany, and ignited a discussion about whether the party should be banned because it “seek[s] to undermine or abolish the free democratic basic order”. In reality, such a ban has many legal hurdles and has only been done twice in Germany: the 1952 ban on The Socialist Reich Party and the 1956 ban on the Communist Party of Germany.

Thumb image credit: 360b /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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