Support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives has slipped to a four-month low days ahead of national elections, according to an opinion poll released on Wednesday. However, the 63-year-old chancellor remains the favorite to win the September 24 election.
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Backing for Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian-based sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), edged down one percentage point to 37 percent with every fourth voter still undecided, Berlin pollsters Forsa said releasing their weekly survey.
However, the CDU-CSU retained a commanding lead over its main rivals, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), whose support came in unchanged at 23 percent in the poll conducted last week.
Merkel also remained German voters' preferred chancellor with 48 percent backing her as leader of Europe's biggest economy. Only 22 percent preferred SPD chief Martin Schulz as chancellor.
The Forsa poll pointed to the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) as becoming the first major anti-foreigner party since World War II to enter the national parliament at this month's election.
The poll shows the AfD garnering nine percent of the vote, comfortably above the five percent it needs to gain representation in the Bundestag.
At 10 percent, the hard-left Die Linke emerged as the third political force in the nation. The environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats each also gained eight percent of the vote.