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Monitor Election and Social Research

“You don’t know what the future holds …”

Results of two representative trend surveys

The study shows changes in the political attitudes of the population between December 2022 and June 2023. How did satisfaction with democracy and trust in institutions develop? How optimistic are citizens about the future? How do attitudes differ between East and West Germany and between the various party supporters? How are party sympathies changing? The study explores these questions with the help of two representative surveys conducted six months apart.

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Political attitudes are usually relatively stable and do not change overnight. However, in the short period from December 2022 to June 2023, there are major changes of over 10 or even over 20 percentage points. The study shows some developments on the basis of two representative surveys.

Satisfaction with democracy drops by 14 percentage points, more in West Germany than in East Germany and more among the voters of the Greens than in other voter groups. In West Germany, only 41 percent are now very satisfied or satisfied with democracy, and in East Germany only 30 percent. Green voters are still more satisfied with democracy than the other voter groups, but register a decrease of 16 points to now 68 percent.

Confidence in the Bundestag and the federal government is falling, especially among CDU/CSU and SPD voters.

Optimism for the future is declining in the electorates of the CDU/CSU, SPD and Greens, i.e. precisely in those groups of voters who have hitherto been unshakably optimistic about the future. AfD voters have always been particularly pessimistic. In this group, on the other hand, optimism rises by 21 percentage points. This significantly reduces the differences in optimism between all voter groups.

Sympathy for the CDU, CSU and FDP is stable. In contrast, sympathy for the SPD and the Greens decreases, especially in West Germany, where both parties were previously much more popular than in East Germany. The Left Party is losing slightly in popularity in East Germany. Only the AfD is gaining in popularity in East and West Germany.

In earlier surveys, AfD voters had no sympathy at all for parties other than the AfD. This was still the case in December 2022. In June 2023, they express notable sympathies for the CDU, CSU, FDP and Left for the first time.

There is a pronounced mutual dislike between the electorates of the Greens and the AfD. 94 percent of the AfD electorate strongly or somewhat dislike the Greens. At the same time, 96 percent of the Green electorate strongly or somewhat dislike the AfD. In addition, the Greens and AfD have the lowest proportions of people who are indifferent to the two parties. As an earlier study already showed, polarisation in Germany runs between these two poles, the electorate of the Greens on the one side and that of the AfD on the other.

Read the entire study "You never know what the future will bring ..." - Results from two representative trend surveys here as a PDF.

Please note, to date the study is only available in German.

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Contact Person

Dr. Sabine Pokorny


Electoral and Social Research +49 30 26996-3544


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About this series

The publications of the Election and Social Research Monitor are part of our Monitor publication series. The Monitor series deals with one main topic at a time from the perspective of KAS experts and places it in the political and social context on the basis of a few key points.