ARD-DeutschlandTREND

September 2012

Vote intention

Vote intention

Do you support the European Central Bank buying government bonds from financially troubled countries?

Do you support the European Central Bank buying government bonds from financially troubled countries?

EU: More or less common policies?

EU: More or less common policies?

Situation of current pensioners

Situation of current pensioners

„I expect to be affected by poverty in old age in the future.“

„I expect to be affected by poverty in old age in the future.“

Preferences for policies against poverty in old age

Preferences for policies against poverty in old age

What should be done with the contribution surplus in the pension system?

What should be done with the contribution surplus in the pension system?

US-Elections: Whom would Germans vote for?

US-Elections: Whom would Germans vote for?

In the current labor conflict Lufthansa's flight attendants can count on the understanding  of three fourths of German citizens (75 per cent). Only one in five (21 per cent) regards the strike as inappropriate. A different picture emerges  with respect to the issue of higher medical fees for private practice doctors : 62 per cent of Germans have no understanding if doctors would close their' offices.  However, one third (35 per cent) supports such plans of the  physicians.

In the Euro crisis, 57 per cent of Germans support more common policies of EU member states, whereas 39 per cent believe that the member states should act more on their own in the future. The option that the European Central Bank can purchase government bonds from countries in financial trouble  such as Italy or Spain is rejected  by half of the Germans (50 per cent). The plans of the federal government to reduce the pension contributions is only supported by 15 per cent of the citizens. A vast majority (83 per cent) is in favour of saveing the contribution surpluses  to be able to cope with an economic downturn  and the growing number of retirees in the future. The fear of social decline as a retiree is widespread among future pensioners. Almost every other (49 per cent) believes he or she will be unable to keep up their living standard as a retiree. One third (33 per cent) even fears to be affected by poverty in old-age. The lower the current income of respondents is the higher is their concern regarding poverty in old-age. Currently, one in ten (9 per cent) retirees says that he he is affected by poverty in old age. Federal minister of social affairs, Ursula von der Leyen, plans to support low pensions with her model of pension subsidy which is supported by one third (33 per cent) of the citizens. Support for the introduction of guaranteed minimum pension is higher (40 per cent). One quarter (23 per cent) shares the opinion that this is not a task of the state  and that a person should be individually responsible for taking care of his or her pension.

The discussion about retirement benefits neither helps von der Leyen nor the Federal Government with their approval ratings: The federal minister drops by 4 points to 41 per cent, which is her second lowest rating ever, while the Chancellor also noteably loses support (61 per cent, -7). The Greens plan to appoint their top candidates for the General Election in a membership referendum. Supporters of the Greens currently favor the parliamentary groups' leaders Jürgen Trittin (74 per cent) and Renate Künast (49 per cent) as the politicians which provide the best chances for next year's General Election .

With respect to the current political mood, the Union parties would receive a share of votes of 37 per cent  -- a gain of 1 point compared to August. The Social Democrats gain 2 points and currently convince 30 per cent. The Greens and the Left remain unchanged with 13 and 6 per cent respectively. With 4 per cent (-1) the Liberals again fall below the five percent threshould. The Pirates lose support for the fourth month in a row and would get  6 per cent (-2). If Germans could participate in the November US Presidential Elections , 86 per cent would vote for the incumbent president Obama. His challenger Romney would only receive 7 per cent of German  vote.  

These are the main results of the ARD-DeutschlandTREND in September, conducted by Infratest dimap on behalf of ARD-Tagesthemen and two daily newspapers. In a representative survey among eligible voters in Germany, 1,003 persons were questioned by telephone September 3rd to September 5th, for the vote intention question, 1,503 persons were interviewed. The survey design allows for generalization of results to the German voting population with an error margin of 1.4 to 3.1 percentage points.

Research Design

Universe:Eligible voters in Germany

Sample design:Representative random sample

Data collection method:Computer-based telephone interviews (CATI)

Base size:1.003 Respondents
Voting intention: 1.503 Respondents

Field period:September, 3rd-4th 2012
Voting intention: 3rd-5th 2012

Error margin:1,4* to 3,1** percentage points
* at a share of 5%
** at a share of 50%


Institute:Infratest dimap

Opinion and Election Research

Heiko Gothe

Associate Director Opinion and Election Research

heiko.gothe @infratest-dimap.de