Sitting: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (right) alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel (middle) and Mevlude Genc, survivor and family member of a NSU victims, at a recent event in memory of the terror group's attacks. Merkel's CDU/CSU bloc has become more popular among German citizens of Turkish origin / Photo: Turkish Foreign Ministry

Angela Merkel’s CDU wins over migrant voters in Germany

Germany’s Social Democratic and Green party are haemorrhaging support from people with migratory backgrounds. The main benefactor is Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Union bloc, but the anti-migrant AfD has also seen gains. David Martin reports from Berlin.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc has become the most popular party among German citizens with migratory backgrounds, according to a report published on Thursday.

The Union bloc — made up of the Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister-party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) — now enjoys more than 43 percent of support among all migrant groups.

Meanwhile, only one-in-four migrants still favour the Social Democrats (SPD), down by a staggering 15 percentage points in just two years. Turkish-Germans in particular appear to have abandoned the centre-left party, with most switching to the conservative bloc.

Where do Germany’s migrants sit on the political spectrum?

The survey, conducted by the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR), divided Germany’s migrant population into four broad groups — those with Turkish roots, those with German roots who migrated from former Soviet states, EU migrants and those from the rest of the world.

Preferences between the different groups are evident: Turkish-rooted support for the SPD has plummeted by almost half in the past two years, from almost 70 percent to just 37 percent. It still remains the most popular party among that voter group, albeit only just. Support for the conservatives rose by 11 percentage points to 33 percent.

The anti-migrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was, unsurprisingly, the least popular party among migrant groups. Only 1.1 percent of Turkish-Germans said they backed the far-right party, although it did enjoy support from 12 percent of ethnic Germans from the former Soviet states.

Proportion of migrant voters on the rise

Roughly a quarter of Germany’s 83 million-strong population is made up of either immigrants or Germans with migratory backgrounds — where at least one parent is a non-native German.

In the 2013 parliamentary elections, 9.4 percent of eligible voters had a migrant background. Four years later, that number had risen to 10.2 percent and continues to grow.

© DW

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