Laschet expects German election to be a tight race

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BERLIN: One week ahead of the German federal election, conservative candidate for chancellor Armin Laschet remains confident despite continuing to lag in the polls.

“This is a very close election, a very close race,” Laschet told journalists on Saturday on the sidelines of a Christian Democrat (CDU) campaign event in the town of Delbrueck-Steinhorst in the western state of North Rhine Westphalia of which Lascet is the premier.

Speaking to some 500 CDU supporters, he said, “Now we have eight days left, and we all feel something is moving.”

He underlined his critical stance on opinion polls. “Polls are polls – every day a new click poll.” He said a whole lot of people are not covered in these polls. “But next Sunday, people don’t click, they fill in a slip of paper. That’s when people will vote, and then even the many people who are usually not asked will be able to articulate their vote.”

In the latest polls, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), with chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz, was always several points ahead of the CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), with about 25-per-cent support.

Pollsters still see the Greens with their candidate Annalena Baerbock in third place.

The start of the event with Laschet in Delbrueck-Steinhorst had been delayed due to a medical emergency. A man in the event tent had to be treated by paramedics.

Climate activists from the group “Parents for the Future,” who were demonstrating in front of the tent, then formed a screen for the rescue measures in the tent with their large banner. They then continued their demonstration in front of the tent. The banner read “Energy transition now.”