As often is the case with political debates, everyone’s preferred candidate won.
Here are what I think are the three key points:
- two polls were released yesterday evening - one gave Merkel a small win, the other gave the debate to Steinbrück. Merkel was expected to dominate the debate (given the gap in current polls, up to 30 point leads in preferred Chancellor ratings), so some may say the fact she didn’t matters - my personal view is that given the current polls the fact Steinbrück didn’t overwhelmingly win (or Merkel lose), matters more.
- if you look at the detail of the polls, in all the metrics that matter most in terms of voting intention, such as competence and credibility, Merkel came out ahead in both polls. Steinbrück was strongest on issues, such as social justice, where the SPD is already strong. Streinbrück needed to convince the nation he could be Chancellor - that he did not do.
- Thirdly, and finally, it may tighten the chancellor ratings’ figures (more to do with the fact the gap was so awkwardly wide to begin with), but in terms of voting intention I don’t think the bigger picture will change much after yesterday night.
In terms of polls (topline figures) it’s Steinbrück 1-3 Merkel
Image via BILD