The poll, to be published Sunday in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, says 16 percent of respondents regretted their vote. Merkel’s Christian Democrats were returned to power in a new centre-right coalition with the pro-market Free Democratic Party, led by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.
The voter unease with the new government is striking as the union between the CDU and their Bavarian allies in the CSU drew its lowest result since 1949, with only a 33.8 percent share of the vote. The FDP however, received its highest level of support ever with 14.6 percent of voters choosing the party. The election campaign was widely derided by the media as one of Germany’s most boring ever and voter apathy was widespread, with just 70.8 percent showing up to cast a ballot, a record low in modern German history.
Signs of discord in the new coalition are already evident, as CDU Finance Minster Wolgang Schäuble has publicly questioned whether the government will be able to carry through with the €24 billion worth of tax cuts it has promised. Large tax cuts were the signature piece of the FDP’s election platform.
As Germany prepares to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, voters in the former East Germany are especially regretful of the decisions. 28 percent of eastern German voters told pollsters from the Emnid research firm that they would have voted differently. Western German voters were more content with decision, just 13 percent said they would vote for a different party today.