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Merkel Falls Behind in New Poll

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party fell behind her center-left rival in a new poll. For the first time since 2006, the Social Democrats (SPD) leads Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU). The margin is only one percentage point—33 percent to 32 percent—but the SPD’s boost in recent months has baffled Germany’s conservatives. The survey was conducted by the Emnid institute and announced by the Bild am Sonntag publication. It showed that in the last four weeks, the SPD has gained an unprecedented 12 points in the polls, coinciding with the party’s announcement that former European Parliament President Martin Schulz would be its standard-bearer. Germans will head to the polls to pick their new leader on Sept. 24.