The anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party will make a strong showing in German state elections next month in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in the east, according to a study by the German Institute for Economic Research and Humboldt University.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, the party, which was established three years ago by euro sceptics as a platform to oppose eurozone bailouts, has been boosted by the influx of a record number of migrants into Europe last year.
The AfD has already entered three new state parliaments and now has deputies in half of Germany’s 16 state assemblies.
According to the study, some 5% of Germans who have supported a political party over a long period expressed sympathy for the AfD. The threshold required to enter local parliaments and the Bundestag national parliament is 5%.
This threshold is also interpreted by the authors of the study as a sign that the AfD has harnessed enough loyal supporters to secure its survival over the medium- and long-term.
Reuters reported that the AfD also draws support from people who have never voted before and supporters of far-right parties like the National Democratic Party (NPD).
Currently, the AfD is polling at around 10% nationally. In March, it won 24% of the vote in Saxony-Anhalt, to become the second-biggest party in the state parliament. It also won nearly 15% in the prosperous southern region of Baden-Wuerttemberg and over 12% in Rhineland Palatinate.