March 2014

Since the weekend, the global public is worrying about the escalating conflict between the Ukraine and Russia. Irrespective of the tense situation on the Crimean Peninsula two thirds of the German population still believe that a peaceful conflict resolution is possible. With respect to the resolution of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Germans’ expectations are focused on chancellor Merkel and foreign minister Steinmeier: About two thirds have trust in Merkel and Steinmeier to significantly contribute to the solution of the conflict. A possible role of the American President Obama as crisis-mediator is viewed with considerably more skepticism.


58 percent of the federal citizens think that the European Union and the federal government should in principle support the Ukraine in the conflict with Russia. However, nearly four out of ten advise against interfering in the conflict. Regarding support for Ukraine, Germans mainly think of financial and economic measures, whereas military support is rejected by a vast majority of the population (84 percent). In dealing with Russia, 62 percent of the Germans plead for an increase of Western political pressure on Russia. However, economic sanctions are assessed critically by a majority (38:57 percent). Considerations of excluding Russia from the G8-Group because of the ongoing crisis (19 percent) or of completely breaking off political relations with Russia (7 percent) find even less approval among Germans.


On European Election Day, May 25, the allocation of the German seats in the European Parliament will not be connected to an electoral threshold for the first time. The annulment of the voting threshold of three percent for European Elections by the German Constitutional Court is approved by one out of three federal citizens. Two thirds of the population, however, would prefer if the threshold for small parties would continue to be valid. If Germans could elect the head of European Commission in a direct election between Martin Schulz and Jean-Claude Juncker – the two candidates of the Social Democrats and European People's Party (EPP) v-- 35 percent would vote for Schulz and 30 percent for Juncker.


Notwithstanding Martin Schulz‘s slight advantage in Germany, the political mood at the European level continues to be clearly in favor of the CDU/CSU. If European Elections were held now CDU/CSU would get 40 percent of the vote (+2 compared to February), the SPD could expect 26 percent (-3). The Greens would receive 11 percent (+1) and die Linke 7 percent (-1). With a vote share of 5 percent (-1) and 4 percent (+/-0) respectively AfD and FDP would clearly enter the European Parliament. With respect to the current political mood at the national level, the Union would receive 42 percent (+1) in a General Election, the SPD would get 24 percent (-3). The Greens would be elected by 11 percent (+2), closely followed by Die Linke with 9 percent (+/- 0). With a vote share of 4 percent (+/-0) each, the FDP and AfD continue to remain beneath the five percent threshold which is valid for German General Elections.


These are the main results of the ARD-DeutschlandTREND in March 2014, conducted by Infratest dimap on behalf of ARD-Tagesthemen and the daily newspaper DIE WELT.

Research Design

Eligible voters in Germany


Representative random sample/Dual Frame


Computer-based telephone interviews (CATI) /Dual Frame


1003 respondents
Vote intention: 1015 respondents


March 4th - 5th, 2014


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

© infratest dimap