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Merkel seeks to reach undecided voters in final push before election

World News | Published:

Surveys in the last week show it leading with between 34% to 37% support, followed by the Social Democrats with 21% to 22%.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged her supporters to keep up the momentum in the final hours before Sunday’s national election, urging a last push to try to sway undecided voters.

Mrs Merkel is seeking a fourth term in office and her conservative bloc of the Christian Democratic Party and Bavarian-only Christian Social union has a healthy lead in the polls.

Surveys in the last week show it leading with between 34% to 37% support, followed by the Social Democrats with 21% to 22%.

Angela Merkel
German chancellor Angela Merkel at the harvest festival in Lauterbach, on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen (Jens Buettner/dpa via AP)

Still, the support has been gradually eroding over the past week.

Mrs Merkel told supporters in Berlin on Saturday that they needed to keep up their efforts to sway undecided voters, saying “many make their decision in the final hours”.

After handing out coffee and chatting with the campaign workers in Berlin, Mrs Merkel headed north to her own region, walking through the streets of the city of Stralsund shaking hands, posing for photos and signing autographs.

Angela Merkel
The Chancellor drinks a cup of coffee with election campaign workers in Berlin (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)

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She also campaigned in the northern city of Greifswald and planned a stop as well on the island of Ruegen in the Baltic.

Her main challenger, Social Democrat Martin Schulz, was in western Germany at a rally in the city of Aachen.

“Regardless of how it turns out tomorrow, it was a great and wonderful campaign,” Mr Schulz told the cheering crowd, who waved red Social Democratic and blue European flags, the dpa news agency reported.

Martin Schulz
Mrs Merkel’s main challenger, Social Democratic Party chairman Martin Schulz, who was campaigning in Aachen (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)

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At a rally Friday night in Berlin, Mr Schulz urged Germans not to vote for the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany party, known by its German initials AfD, which appears assured of gaining seats in the national parliament for the first time.

The nationalist party has 10% to 13% support in the polls.

Calling the AfD a “party of agitators” and “the enemies”, Mr Schulz said his Social Democrats were the best option to fight them.

Angela Merkel
Mrs Merkel practised resuscitation doll with Prof Dr Klaus Hahnenkamp in Greifswald (Stefan Sauer/dpa via AP)

“We will defend democracy in Germany,” he said.

In addition to the AfD, the Greens, the Free Democratic Party and the Left Party were all poised to enter parliament with poll numbers between 8% and 11%.

With the numbers so close, several different coalition government combinations could be possible.

Mrs Merkel on Friday night told supporters in Munich not to be complacent with her bloc’s lead.

“We don’t have a single vote to give away,” she said. “We can’t use any experiments – we need stability and security.”

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