Germans urged to get out and vote amid fears over far-right revival

Angela Merkel is hoping to secure her fourth term in office

Germans urged to get out and vote amid fears over far-right revival

German chancellor Angela Merkel during a campaign event at CDU headquarters in Berlin, 23-09-2017. Image: Michael Kappeler/dpa

Voters will take to the polls in the German general election tomorrow with opinion polls suggesting the far-right AfD party could finish third.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is hoping to secure her fourth term in office.

The economy has performed well, however Mrs Merkel has faced criticism of her so-called "open door" immigration policy.

Both Mrs Merkel and her main challenger, Martin Schulz of the centre left Democratic Party have appealed to voters to shun the AfD amid fears it could become the official opposition.

Union leader Thomas Steinberg has warned that there is frustration among many working class members of the public.

Meanwhile these voters in the Ruhr Valley have explained why the far right option is tempting them:

In the 12 years since she was first elected, through steady pragmatism, with no frills and no stardust, Angela Merkel has become the planet's most powerful woman and Europe's most influential leader.

During the campaign she has defended her decision to admit approximately one million migrants into the country in 2015.

She has insisted the decision was a humanitarian necessity – although she pledged to ensure that the migrant crisis is not repeated by increasing funding for programmes in at-risk countries.

Voter apathy

She has urged the public to make sure they get out and vote amid fears voter apathy could provide a boost for the AfD.

A GMS poll on Thursday found that 34% of voters remain undecided or are not planning to vote at all.

German nationalism

The AfD has gained popularity by focusing on migration and security.

However some of its members have called for history books on the Nazi era to be rewritten and the party has become embroiled in a number of rows over Holocaust denial – a crime in Germany.

Earlier this month one of the party’s leaders said Germany should be proud of its soldiers achievements during the Second World War.

Latest polls suggest Merkel’s Conservative CDU party has slipped one point to 37% while Shulz’s Social Democrats (SDP) remain unchanged on 22%.

The AfD meanwhile is up two points to 10%.

Should the party enter the German Parliament, it would be the first far-right group to do so in over half a century.