Lars Klingbeil has high goals for the federal election, and so is Olaf Scholz

A year before the federal election, the SPD is still in the polls. Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz will change that – at least Lars Klingbeil believes. The Secretary General expects a significant recovery in the polls.

SPD general secretary Lars Klingbeil has set an ambitious goal for next year’s federal election. “My claim is more than 20 percent,” said Klingbeil of the German news agency. Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz has a good chance of beating all three of the potential Chancellor candidates traded so far. “People know they can rely on him – they don’t know that with Mr. Söder, Mr. Laschet, and Mr. Merz,” Klingbeil said.

The SPD is currently between 14 and 17 percent in surveys – and thus head to head with the Greens, but far behind the Union. In the last federal election in 2017, the Social Democrats had reached 20.5 percent.

“Want to give a new political home”

Above all, the SPD wants to take advantage of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s (CDU) withdrawal. “We want to give a new political home to those who have chosen the Union because they saw Merkel as the guarantee of stability for this country,” said Klingbeil. Scholz and the Chancellor are leading the country through the crisis in a solid and reliable manner. “When I look at how Mr Laschet behaves with his zigzag course and Mr Söder with his Bavarian arrogance, there is a great opportunity,” said Klingbeil.

The SPD election campaign leader rejected coalition debates a year before the election. “I know how fast politics is moving,” he stressed. But it is also clear that “the common land with the Union has been increasingly used up”. The CDU and CSU no longer have the right to shape the country after the Corona crisis – evidenced, for example, by the basic pension or the issue of women’s quotas for large companies.

Left? “Have to decide if you want responsibility”

But the left must also change in order to form a coalition. “They have to decide first if they want to take responsibility in this country,” Klingbeil said. “It starts with not questioning the European Union and NATO.” But it also has to do with those involved – the left-wing party led by Dietmar Bartsch and Katja Kipping has shown that it wants to rule. “But that does not apply to everyone.”

Like the left, the SPD is currently also looking at the FDP and the Greens, the Secretary General emphasized. “I am happy that we are sorted and positioned and that we can see what the others are doing.”

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