German politician Sahra Wagenknecht leaves the founding press conference of her new party Alliance Sahra Wagenknecht (Buendnis Sahra Wagenknecht BSW) in Berlin, Germany, 08 January 2024. EPA-EFE/Filip Singer


New left-wing party in Germany bares its teeth


German left-wing firebrand Sahra Wagenknecht’s new party has come out swinging, with a strong 14 per cent of support in latest INSA polls.

That potentially puts her Bündnis Sahra Wagenknecht party, or BSW, third behind the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and on par with the ruling Socialist party.

When in October 2023 she left the hard-left Die Linke, pollsters predicted she could garner 12 to 20 per cent of the electorate, while previous surveys suggested less.

Now her party has been officially launched – on January 8 – there appears to have been an uptick.

BSW seems to have taken a bite out of all the other parties and a particularly painful chunk from the AfD.

A poll revealed on January 14 of 1,002 showed that a significant number of respondents surveyed over January 11 and 12 were positive about BSW in the event of an election.

Apparently, the explicit question about the Wagenknecht party leads to higher values ​​for the political group.

The poll, with BSW included, gives the Christian Democrat CDU/CSU 27 per cent, the AfD receives 18 per cent, the Socialist SPD receive 14 per cent, and the Greens receive 12 per cent.

In this scenario, Die Linke, her former party, would have 3 per cent and the Liberals of FDP 4 per cent. That means that both would fall short of the 5 per cent threshold required to take up a position in Parliament.

As with the AfD, Wagenknecht’s new group opposes mass immigration, “wokery”, so-called cancel culture, gender ideology, “blind eco-activism” and unconditional support for Ukraine in its war with Russia.

BSW also advocates raising the minimum wage to €14 an hour, increasing tax deductions, while elevating taxation on those earning higher incomes and those with significant assets.

Wagenknecht has insisted her group would not work with its right-wing counterparts but said banning the hard-right German AfD party would be “wrong” and that Hungarian President Viktor Orbán’s policies were “sensible”.

The next federal election in Germany is scheduled for autumn 2025. The current Government under Chancellor Olaf Scholz is unpopular, with farmers now leading the charge against the so-called “traffic light” coalition.

Just 17 per cent of the voters are “satisfied” with Scholz’s work, while three-quarters are not, according to recent surveys.

The BSW will be taking part in the state elections in Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg in September, as well as the European elections in June.